Bengaluru: Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart has rolled out video streaming service on its mobile app similar to Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, offers videos classified into different sections based on genres and languages with both movie and non-movie based genre of content available for viewers.
Launch of Video streaming feature also coincided with the change in appearance of the Flipkart app.While the current app looks like any online shopping app, with the upgrade, shopping becomes only one of the several tabs. The other tabs are ‘Video’, ‘Games’, ‘Supercoins’ and ‘Ideas’.
Unlike Amazon, which has launched separate apps for each of its e-commerce, Prime Video and Audio services, In Flipkart app it looks like anyone who has installed the mother app will get access to the video service within, as and when Flipkart activates it for them.
Flipkart has also opened up the video streaming facility to all users, including those who are not on its loyalty program, called Flipkart Plus. The Walmart subsidiary has already indicated that it is not looking at videos as a business, but as a customer retention tool.
As a strategy Flipkart wants the video service to get its users into the habit of clicking on its app every day. Once they get used to opening the Flipkart every day to watch videos, it is believed, they will be more likely to use the app to make their purchases as well.
Flipkart seems to have signed syndication deals with content makers such as Viacom, Balaji Telefilms and possible Zee Entertainment to increase its content library. However, more premium content, from the likes of Netflix and Amazon, are unlikely to turn up on Flipkart Video, at least for now.
Like the other platforms, Flipkart will be using technology and algorithms to suggest suitable videos for its users, based on their past viewing habits. Similar to the way Netflix and Spotify operates, a first-time user of Flipkart Video is asked to select titles he or she likes from a list shown on the screen to provide basic data to the algorithm.
Amazon offers its video and audio service as free add-ons, but only for those who have purchased its Prime subscription, priced at Rs 999 per year. On the other hand Flipkart’s Plus membership is not something that you can, or need to, purchase separately. It can be activated by anyone who has spent at least Rs 15,000 in the last 12 months on the website. Upon joining the membership, a user has to keep spending at least Rs 7,500 per year on Flipkart to remain a Plus member.
Recently, Flipkart has roped in Neha Toteja as senior director and head of Flipkart Video with the responsibility of leading a team in building a personalised, curated content viewing experience for Flipkart’s customers.