India has long been considered a promising market for US companies given its size, English proficiency and digital penetration. Some companies have executed strategies well, others have struggled. The streaming wars have forced the major US players - Netflix, Disney, Apple, Amazon, and HBO - to figure out how to expand their market share and with over 1.3 billion people who love movies and tv shows, India is a crucial market for content creators. Netflix's strategy now includes a massive push into South Asia. The current king of streaming is set to spend over $400 million on original programming in country.
This is the first time the streaming giant has disclosed an content budget for the India market and comes amid an increased adoption for online content and growing competition in Asia's third-largest economy.
"The next 5-10 years are going to be a golden age of television. You are seeing unbelievable and unrivaled levels of investment from global companies like Apple, Amazon, Disney, Viacom as well as local companies like Zee TV," Hastings said.
India has emerged as a crucial content hub for Netflix which has commissioned around 40 original series and films in the country, including fifteen original series and about two dozen original local-language films in the country so far. In April this year, Netflix had said that around 15 new original Indian films are expected to be available to its members across the world by the end of 2020.
Given the company spends over $15 billion a year on programming globally, the investment in India might seem small in relative terms. However, expect this to be just the beginning of a intentional strategy for Netflix, particularly given the competition from local players like Hotter, Zee TV, and MX Player, as well as the relatively low prices Indian consumers are used to paying for content.Read more...