Will the Amazon Fire TV Stick be a game-changer for streaming media in India?

Will the Amazon Fire TV Stick be a game-changer for streaming media in India? Amazon has just launched its TV streaming device – the Fire TV Stick – in India. Will this strategic bet pay-off for Amazon? Shashank Venkat has the latest news.
 
Global giant Amazon's Fire TV Stick has just landed in India making it the fifth market in the world to receive the device. The dongle-like tool which converts any TV into a smart TV closely follows the launch of the Amazon Prime Video subscription service last year, which has already found many takers with its ultra-low price tag (INR 499 or roughly £6 per year). Obviously, this is just the right time for Amazon to unveil its TV streaming stick in India and the launch will heat up the Subscription War, which is currently being fought by Netflix, Amazon and some other regional players.
 
Looking at the specifics, the Amazon Fire TV Stick has been launched for Rs 3,999 (roughly £48) in India, which is steeper than its UK launch price (£40). Built-in apps will feature content from its own Amazon Prime Video library, as well as from Netflix and YouTube along with other popular regional audio and video streaming apps. For the initial buyers, the company has also offered the Amazon Prime Video subscription service free for a year through a payback scheme. And just like Netflix, Amazon has smartly entered into partnerships with local telecom and broadband players to offer a broad range of incentives for subscribers buying their hardware.  
 
While rivals Google Chromecast and Apple TV have only found limited success in India, Amazon Fire TV Stick has the potential to be a game-changer for the media industry. Thanks to its close tie-in with its video subscription service and e-commerce offerings, subscribers in India might be more inclined to give this device a go. And for the Indian audience which is just at the cusp of truly breaking big on the subscription streaming space, the Amazon Fire TV Stick with its simple plug-n-play feature may just be the catalyst for them to move beyond traditional TV viewing options. The device is specifically customised for the Indian market which implies that it can work even with lower bandwidth. Furthermore, it also supports the Alexa voice-enabled commands in both English and Hindi languages, which may truly be a winning feature for the device. However, it doesn’t support the full suite of Alexa features yet.
 
Clearly, Amazon has its sights set on becoming the media platform of the future with this unique range of offerings. And when the Internet of Things truly kicks in, Amazon will be in an enviable position to leverage these smart devices, video streaming services, e-commerce app and Amazon Echo to deliver a unified and intelligent platform experience to its users.
 
According to some other reports, Amazon also has plans to launch its Fire TV set top box service in India soon. We are waiting to see what Amazon pulls out of its hat next!
 
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