Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Group CEO at Flipkart, told BloombergQuint in an interview that the company is planning to launch the on-demand video streaming service in India soon. Walmart’s Indian unit Flipkart is set to roll out a free video service and eyeing the next 200 million consumers that are coming online as the e-commerce company is looking for new ways to increase its user base in smaller towns and cities.
Flipkart believes that majority of the consumer’s first touchpoint with the internet is through online video content and entertainment, hence, it could play a key role in bridging the gap for consumers to come online and experience e-commerce. Flipkart, based in the southern city of Bengaluru, said it would offer movies, short videos and Web series on its app, but added it won’t venture into original content for now. The company is planning to attract more loyal users to its platform with the upcoming service. It is expected to debut around the peak Diwali shopping season, for its ‘Plus’ premium subscribers.
Flipkart’s attempt to crack into the video streaming space in India seems to be very difficult as the company will face strong competition from big-ticket firms like Amazon, Netflix, Hotstar and even Reliance Jio. Amazon India had started its Amazon Prime videos service on December 2016 and has developed a strong line of followers with shows such as Made in Heaven and Mirzapur. Amazon currently charges 999 INR a year, or 129 INR a month, for its Prime membership. Unlike Amazon’s Prime video service, Flipkart is expected not to charge users for streaming and might not launch a separate application for these services.
The company is introducing the Flipkart app in Hindi. In the future, the plan is to unveil it in other languages as well such as Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, and Bengali. Flipkart said the basic approach is to solve the language barrier problem people face when they come online. The key result of that is that Flipkart will then be the first in the industry to launch ‘audio- visual guided navigation’ in Hindi. This will enable easy onboarding for new consumers, through a step by step guide making it simpler for them to shop. The video content offering is focused on three primary aspects, keeping in mind the understanding of the market: free, curated and personalized . It is yet to be seen how the company will watch out for the competition in the video business.