How Netflix is scripting India story?

Netflix is heavily invested in growing original stories from India


KOLKATA: This is an age of binge-watchers and Netflix is yet the undisputed king of the new era. Taking off with House of Cards to luring the audience to their screens with La Casa De Papel (Money Heist), the streaming giant has re-written the script of media and entertainment industry across the world. Once a US unicorn, it is now changing the reality of the industry across the world now. India indeed remains at the heart of its international expansion.

As Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos says, “It's hard to say, how it (Indian market) could be more important. We have said from the beginning that India is a critical market in the world for us.” In a candid conversation with Film Companion editor Anupama Chopra at ET Global Business Summit Unwired 3.0, Sarandos shares insights on how Indian content is travelling outside the world, Indians are adopting global content and how the streaming giant itself is building up its understanding of the market gradually.

Sarandos highlights that the Indian market is important not only for Netflix but for the global M&E industry. While it has been always adored for great storytelling and great cinema, the appetite for great TV content is also increasing. He says that they are very heavily invested in bringing out original stories from India. “But more importantly, we are not just growing it for India. We will grow these stories to be for the global platform so that people around the world are enjoying these stories,” he adds.

Read more news on Netflix

According to him, the Indian stories are travelling everywhere. Netflix’s first marquee content in India, Sacred Games played in every major market throughout Europe and Latin America. Mighty Little Bheem is now the most-watched non-English animated series in the US. On the other side, the reciprocal is true too as Indian subscribers are watching content from Spain, Korea, Japan at large scale. While the Indian stories are travelling globally, Sarandos mentions that the platform is mindful of local sensitivities.

“It’s a very dynamic place. One of the things that I miss most since these travel restrictions of Covid2019 have been implemented is my opportunities to come to India. It's one of the most fascinating fast-moving dynamic places in the world. The energy on the ground is just you can feel it in your bones when you walk down the street,” Sarandos expresses his love for the market.

The man who decides what the world will watch is fascinated with the consumption pattern of the Indian audiences. He is surprised by the way the Indian audience has embraced Roma and the overall diversity, breadth of programming. In the last year, more than 80 per cent of Indian subscribers have seen a film every week on Netflix.

However, the streaming giant’s original movie slate in India is not qualitatively consistent compared to the global market. Sarandos thinks the inconsistency is due to the trial and error method as it has not been very long since when the platform has started building its Indian content library. He reassures that there will be constant improvement. “We're becoming much more ingrained in the creative culture of India,” he states.

Streaming has been one of the very few businesses across the world which has not been crushed by Covid2019. More and more people have resorted to good stories. While the streaming services have been able to entertain the audience with fresh stories yet, the long pause in the shooting has been one of the main concerns of those platforms. Netflix is not an exception.

Sarandos acknowledges that getting back to production safely tops the priority list to resist any interruption in the story. While it has been particularly challenging in India, it is also seeing very encouraging signs with more than 10 originals scheduled to be back for production in November. 

Latest Reads

ALTBalaji acquires 17.5 per cent stake in Tring

KOLKATA: ALTBalaji has acquired 17.5 per cent stake in the online celebrity digital engagement platform, Tring. With this investment, Tring’s valuation rose to about Rs 100 crore in the short period since its inception earlier this year. The celebrity shout-out and engagement platform was started...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Voot strengthens content portfolio with Shemaro’s linear channels

KOLKATA: Voot has announced a strategic partnership with India’s leading content powerhouse Shemaroo Entertainment Ltd. to provide its live linear channels Shemaroo TV and Shemaroo MarathiBana to the millions of users of the platform.

iWorld Over The Top Services
GEMS 2020: Indie game developers continue to rise and shine!

When compared to the gaming scene in the U.S. and Europe, India's indie game development space is taking baby steps. But indie creators are making headway and getting noticed.

iWorld Gaming
CapeTitans Games on bridging the gaps in game creation

The online gaming ecosystem is evolving rapidly in India. While many aspirant game developers are trying to make their mark on the industry, there is a gap when it comes to conceptualizing a game on the drawing board and selling it in the market. CapeTitans Games is trying to bridge that schism.

iWorld Gaming
SC seeks Centre’s response on regulating OTT platforms

KOLKATA: It seems that when it comes to self-regulation, OTTs have a tough long road ahead, as the supreme court has sought the centre's response on a public interest litigation (PIL) for regulating these platforms by an autonomous body.

iWorld Over The Top Services
Catch the latest episodes of the new socially-distanced Shark Tank – Season 12 in India on the same day as the US, exclusively on Voot Select

“The road to riches is never straight and narrow. It can be riddled with financial land mines.”

iWorld Over The Top Services
GEMS: Psyche of Indian gamer

With a spurt in consumption during the lockdown, gaming is projected to only grow further. Although the gamers are majorly young and male till now, the users are gradually emerging across demographics.

iWorld Gaming
GEMS2020: Gaming & e-sports making its way into the mainstream

Thanks to the 4G mobile data boom, the cult of e-sports and gaming is going mainstream. The Indian online gaming industry is growing at an exponential rate year upon year, and is expected to be worth $1.1 billion by 2021.

iWorld Gaming
Indian broadband subscribers growth down in July 2020

BENGALURU: Indian broadband internet subscribers growth for the month ended 31 July 2020 (Jul-20) was less than half (49.6 per cent) of the growth in Jun-20 as per the latest Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) data. The broadband subscriber base grew by just 71.7 lakh in Jul-20 as...

iWorld Broadband

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required