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Salman Khan’s future movies to first show on Amazon Prime Video before moving to TV
MUMBAI: Amazon Prime Video has just 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 television channels.
Amazon Prime Video will get a two-month window before these Khan movies move to television. 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.
“Amazon is increasing acquisition price of movie broadcast rights. Now viewers can first watch certain prized movies first on OTT, after their theatrical exploitation. This is a significant change in a country where TV enjoys huge viewership leap over others,” a senior executive of a broadcast company said.
Announcing this first-of-its-kind, worldwide exclusive content deal with Salman Khan Ventures, Amazon Prime Video said it would become the exclusive streaming home of future titles of the ‘Sultan of Bollywood’, commencing with the recently released ‘Tubelight’. The deal is reportedly for a period of five years.
All films from Salman Khan Ventures released after ‘Tubelight’ will premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime Video first, straight after the theatrical release and two months before satellite/TV broadcast or any other form of distribution.
Apart from the new releases, existing blockbuster titles like ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, ‘Kick’, ‘Jai Ho’ and ‘Hero’ will also be available on Amazon Prime Video.
Prime Video, Asia Pacific head of content, James Farrell said, “Salman is a huge star with a massive global fan following. This exclusive worldwide Prime Video streaming deal with him is one of the biggest star deals to have ever been done in the world. India is a top priority market for Amazon, and we believe that this love India has for films, the passion, the energy and the talent of India needs to be on a worldwide stage for global audiences to see.”
Farrell noted that Amazon always asks itself what is best for the customer. “Now that Amazon Prime Video is available in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, we want content that is most appealing to that entire global customer base. In the world, there is nobody better than Salman Khan who is more loved by his fans and so today we are so happy that all future Salman Khan movies will be available exclusively for streaming on Amazon Prime Video.”
Amazon Video India director, country head Nitesh Kripalani 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.”
Khan stressed that the deal is not limited to India but is worldwide. He noted that it is now very easy for fans to watch his movies at home after it has been released in theatres. “Amazon Prime Video reaches over 200 countries and territories, and I am happy to collaborate with Amazon Prime Video and expand the reach of Indian cinema. Fans of Indian cinema will discover my movies on a new platform and the platform will also help new fans discover our cinema.”
For Amazon Prime Video, this is not the first deal that they have signed for getting movies on OTT ahead of TV. Amazon Prime Video features popular Tamil films such as ‘Kabaali’, ‘Their’, ‘Kaashmora’ and ‘Joker’ before their TV premiere. It has also inked deal with Vishesh Films for their future releases like ‘Begum Jaan’ (featuring Vidya Balan). Amazon has signed a deal with T-Series to air 17 underproduction titles first on its platform. Films from T-Series that will premiere on Prime Video include titles like ‘Tum Bin 2’ (directed by Anubhav Sinha), ‘Noor’ (starring Sonakshi Sinha), ‘Chef’ (starring Saif Ali Khan), ‘Raabta’ (Sushant Singh Rajput and Kriti Sanon), ‘Simran’ (Kangana Ranaut, Saket Chaudhary), ‘Hindi Medium’ (Irrfan Khan and Pakistani beauty Saba Qamar), ‘Wajah Tum Ho’, ‘Yaariyan 2’ ‘Hate Story 4’ and more future big-budget films.
Earlier, Amazon had inked a long-term content licensing deal with Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions. As per the pact, Amazon would have streaming rights to new releases such as ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, which has Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anushka Sharma in lead roles. Directed by Johar, the movie is set for release on 28 October. The other digital premieres of Dharma releases on Prime Video include upcoming films like ‘OK Jaanu’, starring Aditya Roy Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor, and ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’, starring Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt.
Recently, Amazon Prime Video released its first original Indian web series ‘Inside Edge,’ produced by Excel Media & Entertainment and created by Karan Anshuman. It also announced its partnership with Bollywood director and producer Kabir Khan for an Indian original series based on Subhas Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army (INA).
Amazon Prime Video has struck deals with companies like Green Gold Animation, Xilam Animation, Zodiak kids, A2A, DHX Media, BBC Worlwide and ChuChu TV. The platform has also partnered top Indian and international studios like Yash Raj Films, Dharma Productions, Cinestaan, Vishesh Films, T-Series, Excel Entertainment, Warner Bros, Paramount, CBS, Everest, SVF, Green Gold, TV Asahi, Ultra Media & Entertainment, Lionsgate, Shree Venkatesh Films and CBeebies to offer elite content.
“The Salman Khan deal is different in many ways. Star India had earlier started the practice of blocking the future movies of certain Bollywood stars for telecast on its network of TV channels. Now it is Amazon which is locking the biggest Bollywood star for a window ahead of television. It is in many ways paving the way for a future battle between television and OTT,” said a media analyst.
In India, the OTT market is getting over-crowded with several players entering the space. Global giants such as Netflix and Amazon are not only offering international content but also eyeing to provide home-grown content. The space has seen intense activity and has television networks like Star India, Sony and Zee having their own OTT platforms in the form of Hotstar, Sony Liv, Ditto TV and OZEE. Reliance Industries Ltd has agreed to acquire stake in ALTBalaji. Eros Now, the OTT arm of Eros International, has just announced that it has seen a 38% jump in its paying subscribers to 2.9 million as of June 2017.