iWorld

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings on competition and content creation in India

He feels that these are good times for Indian content creators.

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MUMBAI: With Amazon flexing its muscle and soon to be Disney-owned Hotstar in the fray, the Indian OTT market is super competitive and exciting, feels Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. "There is also lots happening on Amazon, and on Hotstar, which is now going to be owned by Disney... It's a super competitive, exciting market,” he was quoted as saying by news agency IANS.

One of the hallmarks of the Indian market, Hastings highlighted, is the ongoing telecom revolution triggered by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio. According to him, there is "nothing more impressive in the world than what Reliance Jio has done in the past four years in India" to democratise internet accessibility.

The streaming giant’s boss is of the opinion that these are good times for Indian content creators.

"If you were an Indian content creator (earlier), there were very few places to go, and now there are many places to go. So, people are pouring in. There are amazing amounts of stories that are coming up,” he said.

The 58-year-old is pleased with his company’s performance in India.

"There has been tremendous traction... Everyone has been talking about Lust Stories and Sacred Games. We have Delhi Crime coming out this week. So, there's lots that's happening on the original front,” he added.

Hastings pointed out that the Indian market has room to do different kinds of stories.

"We try to tell the best stories we can. Sometimes they are ready, sometimes they take longer. It really varies by that. There are so many streaming services, but if you think about how many networks there are on cable in India, there are way more than 34. I think there's a lot of room to do different kinds of stories," he stated.

Hastings also commented on the self-regulatory Code of Best Practices that Netflix and others have signed.

"None of us want strict government regulation on content. We can be flexible and can protect creative freedom a little better if we are a little bit proactive," he explained.

On the online censorship front, there is not much activity, Hastings noted.

"It's just before the elections. We are hoping the talk moves on because it's a challenging time to talk about anything like that. So in general, people around the world...and I am talking about adults, not children, want to watch what they want to watch, and the Internet represents that freedom,” he said.

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