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Isolation time, fun time: Amazon Prime Video, ZEE5 make some content free for users; BookMyShow's 'Live From HQ' to feature live gigs

Prime Video has also switched to SD streaming till April 14.

ET Online and Agencies|
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2020, 02.31 PM IST
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Streaming platforms want to make your time in self-isolation easier.
NEW DELHI: Being quarantined for a long period of time can take a toll on you. Spending time doing household chores, working from home can get boring real quick. To get you through the 21-day lockdown, companies like Amazon, Zee5 and BookMyShow have decided to make your time in self-isolation easier.

As more and more people work from home due to the coronavirus quarantine, the streaming service has made a few of its children and family content available free to watch on Prime Video. Shows such as 'Pete the Cat', 'Baahubali: The Lost Legends', 'Just Add Magic', 'The Stinky Dirty Show', nursery rhymes and stories of 'Chhota Bheem' are available for free for Indian viewers.


While viewers don't need a Prime account to access the free content, they still need to set up an account on Amazon, a company release said, on Tuesday.

The tech giant also announced reduced streaming bitrates for Prime Video that will help cut down network congestion as bandwidth consumption has increased in the backdrop of a lockdown following the coronavirus outbreak. Bitrate usually determines the size and quality of video and audio files, and higher bitrate indicates better quality. The statement added that the company will be temporarily restricting streaming to only Standard Definition (SD) on mobile phones till April 14.


Streaming platform ZEE5 also launched its #BeCalmBeEntertained initiative, as a part of which it is making a slate of content available for users, free of cost. 'Kar Le Tu Bhi Mohabbat', 'Kehne Ko Humsafar Hai', 'Baarish' and 'Ishq Aaj Kal' are among the shows that will be free to watch in addition to a slew of movies.

Commenting on this decision, Aparna Acharekar, Programming Head, ZEE5 India said, “We are committed to undertaking any preventive measures which would collectively help the entire ecosystem curb this unprecedented situation caused due to the COVID-19 outbreak. With this new initiative, we want our audiences across the country to stay calm and enjoy responsibly by staying home whilst, catching up on their favourite shows/movies uninterrupted, across 12 languages on ZEE5.”

Almost a week after closure of malls and theatres in phases across the nation, BookMyShow followed in Amazon's footsteps to keep the people of the country entertained.

In an emotional e-mailed statement, Ashish Hemrajani, founder of the ticket-booking company, announced the 'Live from HQ' service, which will have a series of shows specially curated by Big Bad Wolf Entertainment from March 25 until April 1.

"The new service will feature live performances by musicians and comedians that you can stream on your devices. The company has decided to make the series of live concerts and events absolutely free," the statement read.

Some of the BookMyShow shows will star singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad, folk-rock veterans Indian Ocean, comedian Vir Das, musician Karsh Kale, the music-comedic act 'Aisi Taisi Democracy', among many others.

We'd like to thank all the talent that has come together to keep you entertained, yet safe. So keep your spirits up and we can't wait to serve you again.
Stay safe and stay with us.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Ma’s The Word

25 Mar, 2020
Chinese billionaire Jack Ma (C) showed his benevolent side as he pitched in to help the world fight the novel coronavirus. The founder of e-commerce major, Alibaba, Ma became the most talked about business figure after he said that he would marshall all available resources at his disposal to take on Covid-19. From donating emergency supplies (1.8M masks, 210K test kits, 36K protective suits, plus ventilators & thermometers) to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal, Pakistan & Sri Lanka in Asia to donating 20,000 test kits, 100,000 masks and 1,000 medical use protective suits in each of the 54 African countries, the 55-year-old proved that he was a good Samaritan whose charity was not mapped by geographical boundaries. And even as the business magnate didn’t have India in his list of beneficiaries, there was much talk in the country about his act of generosity. And what followed were natural questions: who among India’s rich was doing a Jack Ma?And it’s not just one individual, but a bunch of lion-hearted boardroom tycoons who have taken the pledge to help fight the virus that has thrown life off-track, in India and across the world.
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