Update 2: Hungama.com mails in to remind us that they also offer movies on demand.
Update: It appears that this had been reported earlier by The Next Web.
Earlier: Netflix, the US based video-on-demand service provider may be looking to enter the Indian market
reports The Hindu, citing job openings from the company, for linguists ‘to provide localisation in Hindi’. The company has denied having plans to enter India, though. Netflix has been expanding globally since 2012 with launches in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway. Netflix provides exclusive content from partners to its subscribers.
Video On Demand services are being eyed by Indian production houses as means of monetization of films, but we’re not really sure of how they’re doing. Reliance ADA Group shut down its DVD rental business to focus only on VoD for BIGFlix, while Eros has launched Eros Now. Players in this space are trying to consolidate themselves by entering into exclusive content partnerships with content providers, similar to Netflix. In September 2012, Times Internet launched its Box TV, a video content destination which was supposed to be modeled on Hulu and Netflix. Apple iTunes launched in India also offers films on rent or for purchase for its consumers. Youtube too, has recently extended its movie section to India launching Youtube Rentals. Spuul.com another video-on-demand service has signed a deal with Yash Raj Films for their films to be rented through Spuul.
It appears that Netflix – if it does enter – will be a late entrant into a market that is already copying and implementing its existing model in full swing, and perhaps the only thing that will set it apart is exclusive content. Perhaps the same cycle that the music industry went through with its Hungama sized MG’s might find itself being repeated in India, with video content.
The other opportunity that is being eyed in India is the launch of 4G networks: movies and TV shows have never really had the opportunity to monetize via telecom operator billing before. But for that, the opportunity has to be created by a pervasive 4G network rollout.