India’s e-commerce giant Flipkart is finally on its way to becoming a more comprehensive competitor to Amazon. The firm is looking to plug into the video streaming segment. However, instead of launching a full-fledged in-house service, Flipkart may choose to acquire some similar startups or may enter into strategic partnerships with companies already working in the on-demand video streaming segment.

In an interview, Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Flipkart’s CEO said, “Our customer segment today is heavily skewed towards 18-35 age group, and that audience watches a lot of videos, both in terms of time spent, frequency, and it is disproportionately high,” he said. “Do we want to have a partnership with leading players in the industry to offer some of the services in a video? We probably want to do that.”

In September, there were rumours that Flipkart is in talks with Hotstar to form a strategic partnership. With this latest announcement, the early rumours are going to catch fire again. Media reported that Flipkart was in talks with Hotstart to pick up a stake in the video streaming company. Flipkart and Hotstar have collaborated in the past when Flipkart offered a discounted subscription to Hotstart with its Festive Pass.

In July this year, the two of them announced a new video advertisement platform called Shopper AUdience Network. The platform is developed by Flipkart and uses the customers purchasing and behaviour data to serve targeted ads to the same customers when they watch videos on Hotstar. This is probably a deep collaboration as Flipkart will be sharing its customer’s data with Hotstart to facilitate ad intelligence.

Flipkart’s CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said that Flipkart will launch a video streaming service in two years from now. And we speculate that this delay is due to the fact that Flipkart is looking forward to developing the service from scratch on its own. If it would be through a partnership with Hotstar or any other service, it won’t take that long.

Flipkart and Amazon share similar service and product portfolios, similar process and roughly similar delivery time. The only thing that Flipkart lacks behind is the video streaming service like Amazon Prime. Whether Flipkart takes on the market via collaboration, acquisition or developing its own solution, the news suggests how vital video content service is if Flipkart wants to take over the world.

Amazon Prime is a bundled package that Amazon offers under which users get early access to sale and offers along with a year of video streaming service. This makes users more likely to signup and helps Amazon retain users. Flipkart has also launched Flipkart Plus to compete with the early access feature of Amazon. Flipkart is lacking behind to generate repeat orders like Amazon.


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