Netflix to produce more original Indian titles
Lines up 21 new productions, including series and movies
Riding high on the success of its first original series, Sacred Games in India, media-tech giant Netflix Inc plans to double its expansion in the market.
Responding to a query from BusinessLine, Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, Netflix, said, “You have seen the impact of Sacred Games’ and it is testimony to the production value and quality of story telling that differentiates Netflix from other services. That is something that we are going to double and triple down on by expanding our regional investments dramatically in the next few years.”
The Los Gatosheadquartered company had announced the production of its first original Indian series Sacred Games’ starring Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in 2016. In the same year it announced its first original movie Love Per Square Feet.
The company has a line-up of about 20 new productions, a combination of series and movies, for the next one year, bringing the total number of original Indian titles to 28.
According to Sarandos, India is witnessing a growth similar to that Brazil saw seven years ago. Netflix plans to acquire the next 100 million subscribers from India, Korea and Japan.
At present, it has about 60 million subscribers in the US and about 70 million in the international market. The company doesn’t share details of its country-specific subscriber base.
However, industry experts say that its subscriber base in India would be low given its stiff pricing and the largely metro presence. In contrast, its competitors Amazon, Hotstar and Zee5 have been playing the volume game with a low -price strategy.
Amazon Prime charges ₹999 a year while Netflix’s subscription starts from ₹500 a month. While Amazon, with 10 million subscribers, is yet to break-even in the Indian market, Netflix has already turned profitable.
According to its financial data sourced from Tofler, Netflix has reported a profit of ₹20.2 lakh in the fiscal year 2018. Its revenues stood at ₹58 crore. However this number is only for seven months since September last year.
The company will also focus a lot on regional movies, with the first one, a Marathi movie 15th August’ produced by actress Madhuri Dixit. It is also making a multilingual prequel of the blockbuster fantasy period drama Bahubali- Before the Beginning. The company’s release in the next month is Rishi Kapoor starrer Rajma Chawal.
Its previous movies include Ghoul, Brij Mohan Amar Rahe, Little Things and Brahman Naman.
(The writer is in Singapore at the invitation of Netflix)