The trailer for the third season of Adulting, a web series about two flatmates living in Mumbai, set YouTube abuzz on its release in November 2021. It was quick to garner over a million views. 

The anticipation for the show, which had picked up nearly nine million YouTube views on average in the second season, was clear in the nearly 1,500 comments under the trailer. 

A few comments, however, bristled against the general revelry, exhibiting scepticism about the latest season’s intended destination. Unlike the first two seasons, which were released on YouTube, the third season is exclusively available on Amazon miniTV, an advertising-based video-on-demand (AVOD) service launched in May 2021. 

What’s unique about miniTV is that it’s not a standalone app, but is nestled within the Amazon shopping app in India. The miniTV icon—which bears a slight resemblance to YouTube’s, with the word “FREE” added to it—is placed in Amazon’s top menu bar, next to categories like mobiles, fashion, and electronics. Tap it and, voila, the bazaar turns into a cinema.

Of course, Amazon already has a video-streaming service called Prime Video, which it launched in India more than five years ago. But there are some key differences between miniTV and Prime Video. 

miniTV hosts free, snackable content like comedy sketches, mini-series, and short films. The episodes are generally about 30 minutes long and interspersed with a few unskippable 15-second ads. The content is sourced from digital entertainment companies like The Viral Fever (TVF), Pocket Aces, and Only Much Louder (OML), along with social media influencers and comedians. 

But unlike the third season of Adulting, a lot of its content is also available on other AVOD platforms like YouTube. Amazon is now working to bring in more exclusive content, said a miniTV executive. They and other sources The Ken spoke to requested anonymity as they aren’t authorised to speak to the media. 

miniTV is also only available in the mobile Amazon shopping app for now, with plans of expanding to mobile web and Fire TV Fire TV Amazon Fire TV Amazon's internet streaming devices and service for televisions shortly, the company told The Ken.

The biggest idea behind miniTV is to expand Amazon’s advertising inventory, which is mostly restricted to static ads on its shopping platform. Amazon also wants to enter the congested but lucrative Indian AVOD industry, which raked in raked in Boston Consulting Group and Confederation of Indian Industries Blockbuster script for the new decade: Way forward for Indian media and entertainment industry Read more  US$1-1.2 billion in 2021, according to a report by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Boston Consulting Group.

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Soumyajit Saha

Soumyajit covers the operations of Big Tech companies and OTTs in India. Before The Ken, he covered equity and currency markets in Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand for Reuters. You can hit him up via email about anything, except money he allegedly owes you.

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