Netflix seems to have begun acquiring original content from India. The video service will stream the movie Brahman Naman, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, globally and exclusively. A Times of India report said that Netflix acquired the rights for the movie for a”seven figure deal” (although it’s unclear if the deal was in US Dollars).
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings had said in November 2015 that the company is planning to launch original Bollywood and animation programming aimed at non-US markets. In the next week, Netflix said that it would be streaming Gangs of Wasseypur as a mini-series.
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.
Need for subtitles
Hastings also emphasized that Netflix will be adding more languages in subtitles as part of it its international push. As part of its launch in Saudi Arabia, Netflix translated the service and subtitled the content in Arabic. “Then in much of the world – Russia, Poland, central and eastern Europe – we are still only in English. But we’ve got ways to go and we’ll keep adding more languages to make the service more relevant,” he added. (On a side note, they really do need to work on their subtitles)
Original programming for web and mobile
– In January, Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra has partnered with subscription-based video streaming service nexGTv to air an original show called “It’s my city.” The show will be a 14-part mobile only series and episodes will air every Friday and Tuesday.
– In the same month, Spuul said it would be premiering Drishyam Films’ ‘X: Past is Present’ starring Rajat Kapoor and Anshuman Jha. The movie also features other Bollywood actors such as Huma Qureshi, Radhika Apte, Swara Bhaskar.
– Balaji Telefilms’ digital subsidiary ALT Digital said it would develop content in Hindi and English. The company said it would move “beyond the current themes of television entertainment to set a new bench-mark with younger, edgier and smarter contemporary content that merits a different medium”
– In July 2015, Eros International said it would produce three original shows which will be streamed on its video on demand platform Eros Now. Eros Now would also premiere some of its recent Bollywood releases on the digital platform first and then on TV. Khel is drama revolving around the world of cricket and the Indian Premier League. The Client, is a thriller with Bipasha Basu as the lead of the show. Ponniyin Selvan is a period drama based on a popular Tamil historical novel by Kalki Krishnamurthy produced by Eros’ south division.
– Hotstar, Star India’s streaming service, signed up comedy collective All India Bakchod for a news comedy series called “On Air with AIB”.
– We’re still waiting for the second season of The Viral Fever’s ‘The Pitchers’.