Reliance's JioCinema, Warner Bros strike exclusive content deal
Succession, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, and the Harry Potter series are coming to JioCinema, after parent company Reliance's deal with Warner Bros.
Thursday April 27, 2023,
2 min Read
Reliance's Viacom18 has struck a deal with Warner Bros Discovery to bring Hollywood content onto its streaming platform JioCinema to compete against Netflix and Amazon.
According to a joint statement by the companies, the deal would see Warner Bros as well as its HBO content made available on Reliance's JioCinema app, including popular movies and shows such as Succession, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, and the Harry Potter series.
The content partnership is a "new multi-year agreement" which will start next month. "HBO Original, Max Original, and Warner Bros. Television series are set to premiere on JioCinema on the same day as the US," the companies said.
The agreement is part of Warner Bros' commitment to the South Asia market as it looks to further strengthen the scale of its regional business. The content deal will bring thousands of hours of streaming content onto JioCinema, which has become popular for showing the IPL cricket tournament on the platform for free in the ongoing season.
The development was first reported by Reuters.
One source told Reuters that the partnership would be exclusive and see most of Warner's marquee content on the JioCinema platform. Warner cannot offer most of its popular titles to other Indian rivals, including Amazon Prime Video and Disney Hotstar.
Viacom18 won the IPL digital streaming rights from 2023 to 2027 for around $2.9 billion, rights which Disney previously held. Viacom18's shareholders include Reliance, Paramount Global, as well as Bodhi Tree, which is a joint venture between James Murdoch and a former Star India executive, Uday Shankar. Bodhi Tree recently invested $528 million in Viacom18.
Several of HBO's top-rated shows, including Succession, aired in India on the Disney Hotstar platform until March 31, as part of a deal between the two companies that ended on that date.
The source told Reuters that Warner had various arrangements with Indian streaming giants, but the Viacom-Warner deal will see a consolidation of that library and will include HBO, Max, and Warner content, among others.
JioCinema seeks to compete with rivals, including Netflix and Amazon, in a market where such platforms are becoming increasingly popular thanks to cheap data prices. However, JioCinema is a small player. Netflix outperforms rivals in the subscription video-on-demand market, commanding a 39% share by revenue in 2021 compared to its nearest rival Hotstar at 23%, according to Media Partners Asia.
Edited by Kanishk Singh