Amazon's Prime Video ropes in head of streaming rival Voot to lead India ops

Amazon's Prime Video ropes in head of streaming rival Voot to lead India ops
Photo Credit: Reuters
13 Mar, 2018

E-commerce giant Amazon's Prime Video has roped in the head of rival Voot to lead its video streaming operations in India, according to a report in The Economic Times.

According to multiple media reports, Gaurav Gandhi has resigned as chief operating officer (COO) of Viacom18 Digital Ventures - the digital arm of Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd - which runs Voot. He previously had stints at media companies including NDTV Imagine, Star India, Turner International India, and Madison Communications. 

The Economic Times report stated that his official designation at Amazon will be director and country manager- India.

However, an Amazon spokesperson told TechCircle that it had "nothing to announce".

Prime Video's India head Nitesh Kripalani had quit late last year and the post has yet to be filled.

Voot offers content from Colors' network of TV channels including VH1, MTV India, Nickelodeon India and other Viacom18-owned channels. 

Voot was launched in late-2015 while Prime Video made its debut a year late. Both compete with Star Network-owned video streaming service Hotstar, Jio TV, Netflix, SonyLiv and other platforms. 

Amazon has repeatedly boasted of high membership for its Prime paid subscription service, which includes video streaming, faster delivery options and, most recently, ad-free music streaming

Even so, Prime Video still is a work in progress with the rights for popular films and TV shows — international, Hindi and regional —  often lost to the likes of Netflix and Hotstar.

Amazon's video streaming service is looking to add more regional content in India as it competes with a host of global and local players for a bigger share of a fledgling online streaming market, Time Leslie, global vice president for Prime Video, told Reuters on Monday. 

In a little more than a year since launch in India, Amazon’s bet on original Hindi shows and a library of films in five local languages has paid off - India is the fastest growing market for its Prime Video service, Leslie added.