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Amazon Prime Video to have a new India head as Nitesh Kripalani quits

MUMBAI: Amazon Prime Video, the e-commerce giant’s video streaming service, will have a new India head as Nitesh Kripalani has resigned.

Kripalani, who had joined Amazon as country head for Prime Video in December 2014, is in notice period. Amazon is looking at a replacement to head their streaming business in India.

“Nitesh Kripalani has resigned citing personal reasons. We will have a new head for our video streaming business in India,” an Amazon India spokesperson told TelevisionPost.com.

Kripalani led Amazon’s aggressive shopping for local content in India to position Prime Video as a premium destination for films and original shows. The e-commerce giant inked deals with several Indian film production companies and content creators.

Amazon, in fact, changed the way content buying was done earlier in India. It sealed several movie deals where it got streaming rights ahead of television. Less than two weeks back, Amazon Prime Video stitched a landmark deal that will allow the OTT platform to show first the future movies of Bollywood’s biggest star Salman Khan before they get screened on TV channels.

Amazon Prime Video will get a two-month window before these Khan movies move to TV. For changing the dynamics of movie buying in India, it will have to pay a hefty amount. Earlier, Star India had done an exclusive deal with Khan to get the superstar’s upcoming movies on its TV channels on an exclusive basis.

Kripalani had called the deal historic. “Salman Khan is the biggest star in India with a massive worldwide appeal, having played roles and iconic characters that are loved by audiences across the world. We, at Amazon Prime Video, are elated to announce this epic, ground-breaking global deal with Salman. This is another big step to change the way how Indian customers consume entertainment with Salman’s movies coming first to Prime Video customers, before their television broadcast,” he had said less than two weeks back.

Apart from blocking future movies of a superstar, Amazon has inked deals with big film production houses like Yash Raj Films, Dharma Productions, Excel Entertainment, Vishesh Films and T-Series.

Amazon Prime Video launched its first India original web series, ‘Inside Edge’, on 10 July.  Produced by Excel Media & Entertainment and created by Karan Anshuman, the show was launched in over 200+ countries worldwide.

Under Kripalani’s leadership, it has partnered top content creators for original content and has 16 more original shows in the pipeline. It is not just Hindi but also regional-language content that Amazon is investing in.

Earlier this year, Amazon Prime Video hired Vijay Subramaniam as content head. He earlier headed Disney Media Networks.