- Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says success in India is one of the reasons for its better-than-expected quarter
- It has announced 18 new Indian series, as well as added a Fire TV stick that understands English and Hindi commands
- Amazon posted $35.7 billion in revenue on Thursday, beating the $35.3 billion analyst estimate
Amazon's strong first quarter earnings can be partially attributed to international growth in India, a country that Netflix also needs to boost its subscriber numbers.
Amazon posted higher than expected revenue of $35.7 billion on Thursday, compared to a $35.3 billion Thomson Reuters consensus estimate. Earnings per share were $1.48, beating the estimate of $1.12.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos credited India as one of the reasons for its success in a press release, pointing out the company announced 18 Indian original TV series. It also added a Fire TV stick for the region, which allows integrated voice search in English and Hindi as well as a selection of local and international movies and TV shows. The Fire TV stick also came with free data for three months.
"It is certainly one of our more important investment areas," said Amazon chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky on an earnings call on Thursday. "We see a lot of potential there."
In addition, Amazon made great strides in the Indian e-commerce space. Amazon's Indian website is the most visited website on desktop and mobile according to comScore and SimilarWeb, it said. Its mobile shopping app is the most downloaded shopping app in the country, per App Annie. Prime selection in India has increased 75 percent since in launched in the country nine months ago and fulfillment capacity for sellers is up 26 percent, Amazon added.
"We're grateful that customers are responding — Amazon.in is the most visited and the fastest growing marketplace in India," Bezos said. "It's still Day one for e-commerce in India, and I assure you that we'll keep investing in technology and infrastructure while working hard to invent on behalf of our customers and small and medium businesses in India."
As more streaming services score premium shows and movies, the competition over consumer dollars grows stiffer especially as the U.S. market gets more saturated. Many have to look overseas in highly populated regions and countries like Latin America, China and India to continue subscriber growth. Amazon has investing heavily in media content for Indian audiences, saying it invested $5 billion in in 2016.
Netflix also has been making a push in the country as well. It debuted its first Indian original series "Sacred Games" in 2017, based off best-selling Indian book. Meanwhile, India's Economic Times reported CEO Reed Hastings said India was one of Netflix's three largest mobile phone markets, and it was looking to set up an office in the country. Netflix missed estimates for international subscriber adds during its last earnings report which analysts attributed to lackluster new content during the first quarter, only welcoming 3.53 million new users internationally versus the 3.65 million estimate.
Watch: Pro talks about solid numbers from Amazon