No more freebies: Ambani’s JioCinema to now charge premium subscription for HBO and other content

No more freebies: Ambani’s JioCinema to now charge premium subscription for HBO and other content

India’s billionaire businessman Mukesh Ambani‘s flagship OTT platform JioCinema has rolled out a Premium subscription service, moving away from offering all content for free in the app.

JioCinema will be charging Rs 999 for a year for the Premium subscription that will let users stream content from studios like HBO and Warner Bros.

ET Online had reported in April that Reliance-owned JioCinema may likely start charging you for its content after the end of the Indian Premier League, even as the official digital streaming partner of the world’s richest cricket league continues to offer free streaming of IPL that is breaking several viewership records this year.

Read: Reliance’s JioCinema may start charging for content after the end of IPL

IPL streaming this year continues to remain free and so does some Bollywood movies including recently added Vikram Vedha.

In late April, Viacom18 had inked a multi-year, multi-million dollar content deal with Warner Bros Discovery, allowing JioCinema to stream HBO, Max Original, and Warner Bros’ content in India.

The launch of the subscription model also juxtaposes with the record digital viewership that JioCinema has garnered for IPL, while it had also offered FIFA World Cup last year for free.In an interview to Bloomberg, Reliance’s media and content business President Jyoti Deshpande had in April said Viacom18’s JioCinema plans to bulk up on content with more than 100 films and TV series to its platform.

Ambani is thus building on the popularity of IPL to push content and finally introduce the pricing strategy for a nation home to 1.4 billion people who are crazy about cricket as well as movies. He also seeks to become a global media and online streaming behemoth, taking on the global giants.

Experts had opined that Asia’s richest tycoon Ambani’s OTT platform streaming the IPL this time wasn’t aiming to win all viewers. He is keen to plant a dominant position for consumer super-apps while his flagship telecom company attracts customers from Sunil Mittal’s Bharti Airtel and financially strained Vodafone Idea.

Ambani is also seen close to listing Jio Platforms on the stock indices.

Under the subscription model, JioCinema will stream shows including Game of Thrones, The Last of Us, House of the Dragon, Fatal Attraction and more. The subscription also will allow viewers to watch movies such as the Harry Potter movie series, Wonder Woman and Batman vs Superman, among others.

The plan will be valid for 12 months and users can watch on any device and up to four devices simultaneously.

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