Net­flix to pro­duce more orig­i­nal In­dian ti­tles

Lines up 21 new pro­duc­tions, in­clud­ing se­ries and movies

The Hindu Business Line - - IT & TELECOM - PRIYANKA PANI

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.

New line-ups

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)

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