Reliance-owned Viacom 18 has struck a deal with Warner Bros Discovery Inc. which will bring Hollywood content to its streaming platform JioCinema and enable it to directly compete with Netflix and Amazon, according to a Reuters report.
The deal between Viacom18 would see Warner Bros as well as its HBO content becoming available exclusively on Reliance’s JioCinema app, including global hits such as Succession, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter series, according to a joint statement released.
‘HBO Original, Max Original and Warner Bros. Television series are set to premiere on JioCinema on the same day as the U.S.,’ the companies said.
Shares of Network18 Media and Investments Reliance Industries’ media entity, rose as much as 13.5% after news of the development broke.
The content partnership will be a ‘multi-year agreement’ which will start next month.
The agreement is largely being seen as a deeper commitment to the South Asia market by the largest production houses in the world, buoyed by lower data prices and higher customer retention. Smaller players like JioCinema are seeking to compete with bigger rivals like Netflix and Amazon in a booming streaming market.
This partnership would see most of Warner’s marquee content exclusively on the JioCinema platform, which would put it ahead of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+Hotstar in India.
JioCinema is already disrupting the streaming game, with Viacom18having recently acquired the digital rights for the IPL cricket tournament for around $2.9 billion dollars, rights previously held by Disney.
The IPL has now been streamed on JioCinema for free in the ongoing season. Several of HBO’s top rated shows, including Succession, were also on the Disney+Hotstar platform until March 31.
At the moment, Netflix commands a 39% share of the market as compared to Disney+Hotstar’s 23%, according to Media Partners Asia.
JioCinema is catching up and this deal is sure to further consolidate its position.
Stay updated with all the insights.
Navigate news, 1 email day.
Subscribe to Qrius