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Here Is How This OTT Giant Is Planning To Disrupt The Indian Market Netflix announced its plans to invest INR 3000 crores for producing original content in India

By Shreya Ganguly

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The growth of over the top (OTT) media services in India is not surprising considering the increasing penetration of internet and smartphone. In a bid to strengthen its position in the Indian OTT market, US-based streaming giant Netflix announced its plans to invest INR 3000 crores for producing original content in India.

Speaking at the 17th Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, Netflix's founder and CEO Reed Hastings said that Netflix India failed to attract users in the second half of the year because the content was not strong enough. According to media reports, speculations are rife that this investment will be made as Netflix failed to meet its customer acquisition target this year.

Apart from focusing on the India-focused original content, the OTT streaming company is also planning to expand its Mumbai team which currently consists of 100 employees.

Self-Regulation Is Pragmatic Approach For Video Streaming

At a time when the Indian government is considering censorship rules for the OTT players, Hastings said that the norms formulated by the majority of the countries are almost similar. According to him, the government is working on introducing self-regulation code and this would be the most pragmatic approach to resolve issues.

Apart from this, several shows running across OTT platforms had garnered criticism from users for allegedly hurting sentiments of religious communities or showing explicit content. Hastings said that Netflix does not have much content under this category. Speaking of Netflix original Sacred Games which was also criticised for being explicit, Hastings said that the show was streamed freely in many other countries with stricter norms such as Saudi Arab.

Netflix's India Focus

The development comes after reports revealed that Netflix India clocked in a revenue of INR 466.7 crores for FY19 with a net profit of INR 5.1 crores. Several factors including original content, partnership with Airtel for better market access to market and fixing payment issues are responsible for driving the growth of the company in India.

The company entered the Indian market in 2016 as a part of its global rollout. With the OTT segment gearing up in India, Netflix has been focusing on producing local and original content to attract more consumers. In May, reports revealed Netflix had plans to launch 22 original movies and 11 series in India by 2020 as a part of the company's aim to create appealing content from the country. The US company had made its debut in producing local original content in India with crime thriller "Sacred Games', based on a novel by Vikram Chandra.

To attract more users, Netflix launched the India-specific mobile-only subscription plan in July at INR 199 per month. According to media reports, Netflix claimed that this plan has helped them get good results. Apart from this, the streaming giant offers other plans such as basic at INR 499, standard at INR 649 and premium at INR 799.

OTT Market In India

According to a report by RedSeer, the Indian OTT market is projected to grow 80 per cent from 170 million in 2019 to 300 million by 2022. Apart from Netflix, other notable domestic and international OTT players such as Hotstar, Amazon Prime, Voot are also looking to capture the market with their originals.

Hotstar is also looking to capture the OTT market with originals and thus announced the launch of Hotstar Specials. It also earmarked INR 120 crore for producing original content.

Apart from streaming companies, e-commerce players such as Flipkart and Zomato are also betting on the growing OTT segment. Flipkart forayed into the OTT market with "Flipkart Videos' in August. The service has been integrated into the app. Bollywood content and shows from content providers such as Viu, Dice Media, TVF and Arre are available under this service. Recent reports stated that the company launched its original content platform called "Flipkart Video Originals', which will be integrated within the Flipkart Video service.

Meanwhile, food tech giant Zomato announced its plans to launch Zomato Originals in September. According to media reports, 18 original shows will be released under the originals in three months.

Shreya Ganguly

Former Features Writer

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