By Jonathan Easton
Amazon is reportedly in talks with a number of large film and media distributors in India, including cinema chain Inox Leisure.
According to local paper the Indian Express, the company is looking to improve its entertainment business in the country at a time when competition among Western players in India is at an all-time high.
In response to the story, Inox issued a statement that the report was “factually incorrect” and that it had not held talks with Amazon.
While the largest name, Inox is reportedly one of a number of companies being considered for investment by Amazon. The report claims that Amazon is evaluating between three and four deals in India as a means of expanding Prime Video and local content in India.
Prime Video announced plans to co-produce its first Bollywood feature earlier this year, while Amazon also launched a low price mobile-only subscription offer in January. In 2019-20, Amazon invested US$1.5 billion in its Indian business, though most of this was in expanding the core e-commerce business.
While Amazon is a leader in India, it is still some way off Disney+ Hotstar due to the latter’s ownership of the IPL rights among other high-profile local content. Amazon’s reported talks with Inox follow similar discussions with struggling US cinema chain AMC in 2020, though these talks eventually fell through during the height of the COVID-19