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General News Amazon Prime Video India bets big on comedy with 20+ specials in 2018
MUMBAI: The emergence of over the top (OTT) platforms has boosted the demand for comedy content. Looking to cash in on the growing appetite for comedy content is video streaming platform Amazon Prime Video which is planning to launch more than 20 comedy specials this year.

This is a marked increased from the 14 comedy specials it had launched last year. Amazon Prime Video has already launched some of the specials such as Rahul Subramanian – Kal Main Udega, The Put Chutney Show, Anirban Dasgupta: Take It Easy and The Improvisers- featuring Kanan, Kaneez, Kenny and Abish Mathew.

Talking about the platform’s strategy to increase the comedy specials, Amazon Prime Video India, director and head content Vijay Subramanian said, “When we launched, we understood that audience loves movies and TV series so we started putting together a library of films and shows through various partnerships. We soon realised that with comedy we have a huge opportunity to build a massive portfolio of comedy with biggest names. We launched 14 specials last year, and are boosting it further with more than 20 comedy specials in 2018.”

Apart from these comedy specials, Amazon Prime Video will also launch its first ever non-scripted comedy show ‘Comicstaan’. The show will be available exclusively to Prime members across 200 countries and territories from 13 July. The first four episodes of the series will be available for free, followed by new episodes every week exclusively for paid subscribers.

Speaking about the show, Subramanian said, “When it comes to comedy we understood that variety is very important for our customer. We also realised that it is important to create an opportunity that encourages and motivates any comedy anywhere to give it a shot and that is why we came up with Comicstaan. The show will take our viewers on a hilarious journey alongside some of today’s most recognizable comedians, to search for India’s next big comedian.”

Since its launch, Amazon Prime Video India has also launched three original series – Inside Edge, Breathe and first non-scripted singing reality show The Remix.

The platform is aiming to launch three more originals by the second half of the year. The three originals will comprise of a fiction and two non-fiction formats.

“With the launch of our three originals, we will have a total of six original launches in this year. Next year, we are aiming to launch 10 original and then ramp it up in the following year. So, that is our goal as we have witnessed positive response to all the content that is uploaded on the platform be it original shows, regional, movie library or comedy,” he said.

Shilpa Shetty’s debut digital series ‘Hear Me. Love Me’ which is based on the concept of blind dating will be one of the two non-fiction formats to be streamed on the platform. Produced by FremantleMedia India, the series provides a window into what contemporary India thinks of love, romance, and dating. ‘Hear Me. Love Me.’ was originally devised by FremantleMedia’s Israeli production company Abot Hameiri.

Pritish Nandy Communications’ ‘4 More Shots Please’ is also part of the fiction show line-up. Apart from that, Amazon has also announced scripted fiction shows such as ‘Made in Heaven’ marking Zoya Akhtar’s debut on digital platform and Excel Entertainment’s Mirzapur.

The platform has also announced new original series ‘The Family Man’ which will be launched exclusively in 2019 in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu, for customers in India and over 200 countries worldwide. The series is produced and directed by Raj & DK (Go Goa Gone, Shor In The City), and marks the digital debut of two-time National Film Award-winning actor, Manoj Bajpayee, along with National Film Award recipient, Priyamani.

Subramaniam noted that the aim is to target mass market through these shows. “Our audience is spread is across markets so we want to have content that will appeal to kids as well as to adults. Our aim is to focus on more comedy as well as regional content,” he stated.

Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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