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Netflix to launch its comedy series in India with Vir Das


Netflix’s original standup comedy series will launch in India with comedian Vir Das. The show will be recorded in Delhi in October and will be streamed worldwide, although Netflix does not mention the timeline for the streaming release. The series has previously released shows from American comedians such as Kevin Hart, Louis C.K., Aziz Ansari and Russell Peters, some of which is already available in India.

Netflix claims to have 81 million users in 190 countries.

India-origin content

In June, Netflix, which added 6.7 million subscribers in the quarter ended March, tied up with Phantom Films to create an original series based on author Vikram Chandra’s book Sacred Games. The series would be shot in India in English and Hindi, and would be available globally once it’s completed. 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 said that it would stream Anurag Kashyap’s movie Gangs of Wasseypur as a mini-series.

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Focus on original content and programming

Netflix has been planning to launch original Bollywood and animation programming aimed at non-US markets. At the time, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that creators needed to focus on developing shows for global scale and audiences, adding that Netflix would spend $5 billion on content in 2016, including acquiring talents.

In April, Hastings said that the company was not interested in getting in linear programming or live streaming of events such as sports. “We’re focused on having content around the world  which is why we’re investing in original movies and series,” he added.

Netflix launched in India this January at Rs 500, Rs 650 and Rs 800 per month. At that time, we’d pointed out the high price tag and how it was critical to have a good catalog. We said that Amazon’s philosophy of the everything store was missing, because if users had an unlimited catalog, it would help them feel comfortable about paying a slightly higher price, given the choice.

Last month, Netflix appointed Swati Shetty in a content acquisition and original content production role. Shetty is the founder director of Samosa Stories Entertainment Pvt Ltd and has previously worked as president of motion pictures for Balaji Telefilms for over a year, among other companies. Netflix also hired Gaurav Pradhan, who led YouTube’s India and Southeast Asia product partnerships for over 3 years, as director of Asia business development.

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Written By

I'm a MediaNama alumna from 2015-16 (remember TinyOwl?) now back to cover e-services like food and grocery delivery, app based transport and policies, platforms and media in India.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



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