Amazon is to launch localized versions of its Prime Video streaming platform in three countries in Southeast Asia. It will accompany the business initiative with fresh investments in local content.
The service will launch in Indonesia, Thailand and The Philippines from Monday. Viewers will be offered a seven-day free trial, followed by discounted introductory offers of IDR59,000 ($3.98), THB149 ($4.10) and PHP149 PHP ($2.69) per month valid till the end of the year.
While consumers in these countries have previously been able to use Amazon for cross-border online shopping, the Amazon Prime shopping membership scheme, to which Prime Video is attached in developed markets, has not been available. Nor has the Prime Video streaming service provided localized content slates or user experience, such as subtitles or a local-language user interface, in Southeast Asia.
Local marketing campaigns will be headed by celebrities Iqbaal Ramadhan, Chicco Kurniawan and Kiky Saputri in Indonesia, Mario Maurer in Thailand, and Anne Curtis in the Philippines.
The company has greenlighted three versions of situational improvisation comedy challenge series – “Comedy Island: Indonesia,” “Comedy Island: Thailand,” and “Comedy Island: Philippines,” which will be available from 2023.
It has started the development of several original productions in Indonesia and Thailand. These include feature-length “Seige At Thorn High,” to be directed by Joko Anwar, which is in development at Come & See Pictures. The film “4 Seasons in Java,” written by Indonesia’s Kamila Andini is in development at Four Colour Films.
In Thailand, the film “Three Idiots and A Ghost,” based on the novel written by Sal Kim and published by Wattpad with Jungka Bangkok producing is in development. So too is scripted series “Metal Casket” from writer-director Banjong Pisanthanakun (“Shutter,” The Medium”); and “How to Fake It in Bangkok,” from Halo Productions, with Ananda Everingham executive producing.
The offering at launch will include contents that has been licensed locally, popular Korean titles and anime hits.
Local Indonesian highlights include: “Perfect Strangers” (available Oct. 17), a remake of the homonymous Italian hit movie, starring Vino G. Bastian, Adipati Dolken and Darius Sinathrya; “Ashiap Man” (from Nov. 14), directed by Atta Halilintar; and horror movie “Kuntilanak 3” (from Oct. 10) directed by Rizal Mantovani and starring Julie Estelle.
Thai highlights include: “The 100” (from Dec. 12), a thriller set at the height of the pandemic starring Mike Angelo; “The Up Rank” (from Nov. 14), a coming-of-age drama thriller featuring Krit Jeerapattananuwong; and “My True Friends: The Beginning,” an action drama based on a true story set in the 1980s starring Ryu Vachirawich and Nak Charlie Trairat.
Filipino highlights include Jun Lana’s dramedy “Big Night”; “How To Love Mr. Heartless” (from Aug. 15), a romance starring Sue Ramirez; and surreal drama “Whether The Weather Is Fine,” (from Oct. 10) with Daniel Padilla.
Korean content is a priority for many Southeast Asian viewers. The platform will offer romance film “Nothing Serious” and 2021 movie “Toy Soldiers: Fake Men 2 The Complete”( from August).
The roster will also have anime hit “Demon Slayer” and 2021 Japan box office champion “Jujutsu Kaisen 0” (from Dec. 21).
Also available will be global Amazon Originals “The Boys” and “The Terminal List”; licensed U.S. show “The Good Doctor” seasons 1-5. Upcoming will be “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” (launching Sept. 2).
And with local relevance, Prime Video will premiere the new Ron Howard movie “Thirteen Lives” on Aug. 5. The film depicts the rescue mission in Thailand’s Chiang Rai where a soccer team and their coach were trapped in flooded caves.