22 Sep 2017
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Disney’s Vijay Subramaniam tipped to join Amazon Prime Video

MUMBAI: Disney Media Networks head Vijay Subramaniam, who is currently serving his notice period at the company, is tipped to join Amazon Prime Video as content head.

Amazon Prime Video has been aggressively lapping up local content to push its service in the Indian market. The video streaming service has 17 local shows at different stages of development. They are from diverse genres like psychological thriller, comedy and musical.

Vijay Subramaniam, VP and Head - Content and Communication, Media Networks , Disney IndiaThe slate of shows will roll out from this year. The first original show will launch in the first half of 2017. Most of the original content will be in Hindi.

“Amazon Prime Video is very aggressive in the Indian market and has lined up a wide variety of local content. It makes sense to have a content head for the market,” an industry observer said.

When contacted, Amazon Prime Video India director and country head Nitesh Kripalani declined to comment. Subramaniam did not respond to a phone call or text message requesting comment.

In India, Amazon Prime Video will stand on three content pillars. They are movies (including English, Hindi and regional), kids content and local and international Amazon originals.

The list of local shows includes ‘Bodhidharma: Master of Shaolin’ (Ram Madhvani, Prasoon Joshi and Sunil Doshi), ‘Breathe’ (Abundantia Entertainment), ‘The Ministry’ (AIB and OML), ‘Powerplay’ starring Vivek Oberoi and Richa Chadda (Excel Media & Entertainment), ‘Mirzapur’ (Excel Media & Entertainment), ‘Stardust’ (Phantom Films), ‘The Family Man’ (D2R Films) and ‘Vishpuri’ (Big Synergy).

Amazon Prime Video has inked exclusive content deals with top Indian and international studios like Yash Raj Films, Dharma Productions, T-Series, Excel, Warner, Paramount, CBS, Everest, SVF, Green Gold, TV Asahi, Lionsgate, NDTV and CBeebies.

At Disney Media Networks, Subramaniam was responsible for eight channels across three segments—Youth (Bindass and Bindass Play), Movies (UTV Movies and UTV Action) and Kids (Disney Channel India, Disney XD India, Disney Junior India and Hungama TV). He was spearheading the content and revenue functions.

Abhishek Maheshwari has taken the charge from Subramaniam as head of Disney Media Networks with immediate effect. In his new role, he will lead the new strategic initiatives to transform the media networks business into the digital world. Prior to promotion, he was serving as vice president and head of Disney India’s consumer products, interactive and corporate strategy.

Sanjeet Mehta has been promoted to head of Disney Consumer Products (DCP), and will be responsible for the licensing and retail businesses.

Before joining Disney, Subramaniam was associated with MTV India as advertising sales director. He was responsible for leading the team and delivering revenue objectives for MTV. Subramaniam has more than 20 years of experience in the field of sales in television, radio and print media. He also worked with media companies like Magna publishing, Turner and Star.