Netflix will be a giant exporter of Indian stories: Reed Hastings

By: IANS | New Delhi | Updated: February 24, 2018 10:39 am Netflix is expanding its India slate with the addition of three new originals — “Leila”, “Ghoul” and “Crocodile”.

Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings says that the Global internet TV network will be a giant exporter of Indian stories in the future. Hastings was in the national capital at the Global Business Summit to speak on “How Technology is Changing Media”, on Friday.

Netflix is expanding its India slate with the addition of three new originals — “Leila”, “Ghoul” and “Crocodile” and the officials also announced on Friday, the addition of the three series. They will join a larger slate of original productions out of India including “Sacred Games”, “Selection Day”, and “Bard of Blood”.

Speaking on the Indian market for the video-streaming giant, Hastings stressed that the company plans on optimising the gap in India where “Indian TV production value is much lower than the rest (of the world) “.

He said: “Around the world, serialised TV is a much bigger industry than movies. It hasn’t been able to develop because of only the ad support. So, Indian TV production value is much lower than the rest. What we are doing is invest in shows like ‘Sacred Games’, in hi-tech series like ‘Narcos’ that it has such great looks and a global appeal. I think we will be a giant exporter of Indian stories.”

Also Read | After Sacred Games, Netflix announces three more Indian originals

“It hasn’t been able to make a place in the market because of lack of premium. So, we hope to develop that market, develop the local shows and be a great exporter as well as import great content from around the world,” he added.

Stressing on the price comparison where a Netflix subscription can vary from Rs 500 to Rs 800 per month, depending on the plan, which is much more than other platforms like Amazon Prime and a normal TV cable subscription, Hastings says it is equivalent to the price of a movie ticket in India.

“It is more than many other services but about what a movie ticket costs… So, what we have to do is make such great content that people make the comparison to movie tickets, buying DVDs, more than they do to cable,” he said

“On the global basis what the Indian consumer pays for cable services is very low which keeps the industry smaller than it should be. The Indian entertainment business will be much larger over the next 20 years because of investing in paying services like Netflix.

“Our strategy is to build up the local content and global content also and up-level the industry. At 500 a month, it is more than cable, so that can be a shock but compared to movie tickets and other entertainment experiences, it is very well priced,” he added.

Hastings believes the platform is in a way a bridge to bringing communities together.

“One of the key things for Netflix is really just global sharing of content to increase average people’s understanding. Most people in the world do not have a passport, they are not in the audience here, and it’s critical that they feel a sense of community with other people around the world and if can keep peace then all the economies can grow,” he added.

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