Netflix, the US-based movie and television show video platform, will be streaming a specially edited version of the Bollywood gangster hit Gangs of Wasseypur in December, reports Mashable.
The original run length of the film was 319 minutes long and had to be cut into two parts for its commercial release. On Netflix, Gangs of Wasseypur will stream as a mini-series with English, Spanish, French, Arabic and Chinese subtitles.
Earlier this month, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings had said that the company is planning to launch original Bollywood and animation programming aimed at non-US markets. Hastings also said that creators needed to focus on developing shows for global scale and audiences, since the distribution problem had been solved with the Internet. He added that Netflix would spend $5 billion on content next year, including acquiring talents.
In June, MediaNama reported that Netflix was planning to enter India in 2016, while a Netflix spokesperson told MediaNama that they planned to go global by the end of 2016, including a launch in China, without giving further details about India plans.
Netflix’s entry into India will greatly increase the quality of content being produced. The Viral Fever’s web series, The Pitchers, getting a 9.7 ratings points out 10 on IMDB is proof that great content can be made from India which can be just as good as Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones.
Gangs of Wasseypur is a perfect fit for Netflix’s focus that content should be for a global audience. It’s our own Narcos. Anurag Kashyap, the director of the movie, rightly points out through digital distribution creators don’t have to worry about obnoxious censorship and it will give more creative freedom to make better content.
Perhaps the market for the usual Bollywood song-and-dance affair with mindless action stunts (think Prem Ratan Dhan Payo) and saas-bahu shows will probably be cornered by Eros’ video streaming platform and Star India’s Hotstar.
That said, video streaming platforms have realized that they have to produce better content as audiences in India become more discerning. Hotstar partnering with comedy collective All India Bakchod to produce a news parody series is a great example. We still need to see how Eros’ three planned online series will perform.
Other developments in video streaming services
– Last month, Viacom18 Digital Ventures announced VOOT, a mobile video platform which would go live in the ‘coming months’ to broadcast Viacom18 content, and create original content programming.
– In August, video streaming service HOOQ signed a multi-year deal with Sun TV and added over 1,000 Shemaroo video titles.
– In July, Hungama launched HungamaPlay, with a catalog of 6,500 movies.