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Online streaming company Netflix, which added 6.7 million subscribers in the quarter ended March, has tied up with Phantom Films to create an original series based on author Vikram Chandra’s book Sacred Games. The series will be shot in India and in English and Hindi, and will be available globally once it’s completed. As of now, Netflix claims to have 81 million users in 190 countries.

Phantom Films is a film production company started by director and writer Anurag Kashyap, director Vikramaditya Motwane, producer Madhu Mantena and Vikas Bahl, who formerly led UTV Spotboy, in 2011. Note that Reliance Entertainment bought a 50% stake in Phantom Films in March last year, while the remaining 50% would be jointly owned by Phantom’s founders. At that time, both the companies planned to develop and produce 6 films yearly and distribute and syndicate films in the country and abroad from its then library of 175 films.

Previous streaming deals; to spend $5 billion on content in 2016
In February, we reported that Netflix had begun acquiring original content from India and was to stream the movie Brahman Naman globally and exclusively. In november 2015, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that the company was planning to launch original Bollywood and animation programming aimed at non-US markets. In the same month, Netflix said that it would be streaming Gangs of Wasseypur as a mini-series. At the time, Hastings said that creators needed to focus on developing shows for global scale and audiences, adding that Netflix would spend $5 billion on content next year, including acquiring talents.

Netflix’s focus on original series and movies; offline viewing and data saving
In its earnings call for the quarter ended March 2016, Hastings repeated that the company “focused on having content around the world which is why we’re investing in original movies and series.” Hastings said that the company would keep an ‘open mind’ about offline viewing, since through its expansion, it would likely see an uneven set of networks. On data saving, he added that Netflix would have this option for mobile networks.

Recent developments in online streaming:
– Last month, Vuclip, which launched its video on demand service Viu in India in March, launched the platform in Indonesia.
– Media and news startup ScoopWhoop partnered with political news and analysis website Newslaundry to launch a web series called Chase on YouTube.
– Amazon launched a new video service called ‘Amazon Video Direct’ (AVD) that would allow its users to post videos and earn royalties from them in US, UK, Germany, Austria and Japan.
– In April, ErosNow forayed into Malaysia through partnerships with two local telco; Maxis Berhad and U Mobile.
– Reliance Entertainment was planning to re-launch its streaming service Bigflix.
– NexGTv, a subscription-based Over The Top video content provider launched its services across 140 countries.
– In March, Viacom18 Digital Ventures’ online video streaming platform VOOT went live.

Our Netflix, video and streaming coverage.

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