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Netflix banking on 100M more Indian users in the future; new original content

Netflix plans to make 17 new original productions in Asia with nine productions in India, reports Reuters. The company has called Asia, and India in particular, key territory for its future plans. At its ‘See What’s Next’ event in Singapore, Netflix unveiled projects produced by Priyanka Chopra, Madhuri Dixit and Anushka Sharma.

Netflix’s productions in India

One of the bigger upcoming projects is a spin-off of SS Rajamouli’s blockbuster film series, Baahubali.

  • “We’re excited that Baahubali will find a global audience just like the films did. I think the series gives us the freedom to explore the origins of Sivagami,” said Todd Yellin, Netflix VP of production. It will be a prequel to both films.
  • Firebrand is a Marathi film produced by Priyanka Chopra and her mother Madhu Chopra.
  • Madhuri Dixit will produce a Marathi film called 15th August which is a satire about the struggles of middle class India.
  • Yet another project is Rajma Chawal, directed by Leena Yadav and starring Rishi Kapoor, who plays a widowed father who wants to reconnect with his son. The film will be released this month.
  • Manav Kaul will play an emotionally troubled music teacher in Music Teacher, which will also star Neena Gupta and Divya Dutta.
  • Chopsticks, starring Abhay Deol and Little Things’ Mithila Palkar is currently in production.
  • Bulbul, produced by Anushka Sharma and Karnesh Sharma’s Clean Slate Films, is a period film.
  • Hotel Mumbai, directed by Anthony Marras and starring an ensemble international cast of Dev Patel, Armie Hammer and Jason Isaacs, will be released as a Netflix original in 2019.
  •  Typewriter, a new series created by Sujoy Ghosh.
  • Among the shows already in production are Leila, based on a novel by Prayaag Akbar, and Bard of Blood, starring Emraan Hashmi and produced by Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment.

Netflix’s India market

Netflix shares soared 15% after reporting its Q3FY2019 earnings and recording 130 million paid subscribers and 7 million on free trial. The company added 998,000 paid memberships in the US, and 5 million in the international market this quarter. Streaming revenue grew 36% from the same quarter last year.

“More than half of Asian content hours viewed on Netflix this year are viewed outside the region,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer.

  • Chief Executive Reed Hastings said that India could deliver the service’s next 100 million subscribers.
  • India accounted for about a percent of the 23.78 million members Netflix added worldwide in 2017, according to IHS-Markit.
  • Two out of three viewers of Sacred games are from outside India, tweeted Rohan Nahar. However, the Bollywood studio that produced the show disbanded last month after sexual harassment allegations against one of its partners, Vikas Bahl, and the show’s lead writer, Varun Grover. Both men have denied the allegations. Netflix later backed the series for a second season.

Apart from Sacred Games, Netflix has previously released, Ghoul, Brij Mohan Amar Rahe, Love Per Square Foot, Little Things and Brahman Naman from India.

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