Amazon (AMZN) has unveiled Prime Reading, a new service, in the fast-growing market of India (EPI) as the company looks to expand its e-commerce services in the country. The company already offers Prime Video and Prime Music to its customers in India.
Amazon, through its Prime Reading service, will offer a wide variety of ebooks to its Prime subscribers at no additional cost. The service is also available on Kindle and Kindle Lite apps as well as on Kindle Cloud Reader over the web. Prime Reading is different from Kindle Unlimited, which is Amazon’s monthly reading service priced at 150 rupees that provides access to millions of ebooks.
Amazon’s expansion in India
Amazon launched Amazon Prime in India in 2016 and then added video and music to its Prime bundle to attract consumers to Amazon Prime. Similarly, Prime Reading is also expected to help the company boost its Prime subscriber base. Prime members can also enjoy early deliveries and first access to deals on its platform. Amazon Prime costs 999 Indian rupees annually.
Prime added more subscribers in India in 2017 than in any other market, which shows the growing digitization trend and consumers’ willingness to adopt new technology. Further, Amazon sees a substantial growth opportunity in India, where the availability of low-cost data plans has increased the usage of streaming services.
Amazon faces competition in India
Amazon faces competition from local online shopping companies including Walmart-backed (WMT) Flipkart and Alibaba-backed (BABA) Paytm in India. Besides online shopping services, Amazon has also been trying to expand into India’s payments market, streaming services, smart home market, and much more. Recently, Amazon acquired a 49% stake in Aditya Birla Retail owned More, a grocery store chain. The company has already forayed into the department store chain space by buying 5% in Shoppers Stop last year.
According to a recent eMarketer report, the size of India’s e-commerce industry will be around $71 billion at the end of 2022, up from $32 billion by the end of 2018.