Amazon pacts with Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions

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Amazon has signed a long-term licensing deal with Indian director-producer Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions, covering both new and library titles, which will stream on Amazon Prime Video when it launches in India later this year.

Titles included in the deal include highly-anticipated upcoming releases such as Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, starring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma; Ok Jaanu, starring Aditya Roy Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor; and Badrinath Ki Dulhania, starring Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt.

“We are excited to have Dharma Productions’ library and future slate of titles for the upcoming launch of Prime Video,” said Nitesh Kripalani, director and country head, Amazon Video India.

Dharma Productions CEO Apoorva Mehta said: “We have kept a close eye on the explosion of digital media, and the increased consumption trends of Bollywood content on VOD and OTT platforms. We at Dharma felt that the time couldn’t be more right for us to mark our presence on such sought after platforms.”

Amazon is understood to be in talks with several other leading Indian filmmakers, including Hansal Mehta and Mukesh Bhatt, and is also buying up library titles, as it gears up to launch Amazon Prime Video in India, following a launch in Japan last year.

Amazon is already one of India’s biggest e-commerce players and launched Amazon Prime, minus the video component, in 100 Indian cities in July. In June, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos pledged to spend a further $3bn in India across e-commerce and other services.

Library titles on Amazon Prime Video’s India service will also include blockbusters such as Kapoor & Sons, Brothers, Shaandaar and Gori Tere Pyar Mein, in addition to recent Dharma films such as Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Student Of The Year, Kal Ho Naa Ho and Agneepath.