Manufacturing Content in India
Netflix and Amazon are fighting for the video streaming market in India and using India as a base to produce original content for their platforms. And that to, content not just for the Indian market but elsewhere also. It is reported that they have each set aside Rs.2K crore to buy content to attract new subscribers.
Content creators say Netflix and Amazon have relatively high budgets and want to stream original content. “Having met both, I can vouch for the fact that both are sold on the India story,” said Apoorva Mehta, CEO, Dharma Productions. “They are both equally aggressive when it comes to content. Both want to address the huge content gap that exists between Narcos (a popular Netflix series) and Naagin,” added Mehta. Netflix says “On the originals front, we are focused on finding great Indian stories—not just for Indians, but for the world. Sacred Games is our first announced Indian original series, and partnering with a top studio like Phantom Films speaks of the kind of quality we are looking at”.
Amazon has teamed up with production houses such as Yash Raj Films, Dharma Productions, T-Series, Shree Venkatesh Films, Everest Entertainment, V Creations and Dream Warrior Pictures. Netflix has teamed with Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment and Viacom 18 Motion Pictures.
Nitesh Kripalani, head of Amazon Prime Video India says “We believe that original content in partnership with top and passionate filmmakers, talent and writers and the availability of latest and exclusive movies and TV shows from top Indian, US and international studios/production houses will result in a larger base of customers,”. Streaming platforms are also spending huge on web series and content producers have seen the budgets spent by Amazon and Netflix increase.
India is a major market where the number of internet users is growing fast. Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, spoke of a content war in India. “When it comes to bidding with other players sometimes we win, sometimes we don’t. When we win it’s often because we can give a global platform to that content,” he says.