Netflix to release 30 originals in 2018 for international markets including India

MUMBAI: Buoyed by the success of its international originals, internet entertainment service Netflix is planning to launch 30 international original series in 2018 including India.

In its letter to investors, Netflix noted that it is finding continued success with international originals.

It further stated that high-quality content can travel globally irrespective of language.

Netflix pointed out that its first German original drama series ‘Dark’ has also been viewed by millions of members in the US and has outsized watching throughout Europe and Latin America in addition to being well-received in its home country. The series debuted in Q4 FY17.

The company wants to replicate this success globally including markets like India.

“Combined with attractive economics and a positive impact on our business in local markets, we will expand this initiative with over 30 international original series this year, including projects from France, Poland, India, Korea and Japan,” Netflix said.

Netflix international original series VP Erik Barmack had earlier stated that the company plans to launch 5-6 India originals a year.

The service has lined-up multiple India originals including Sacred Games, which is directed by filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, Cricket and corruption drama Selection Day, which is based on the book by Aravind Adiga, and supernatural detective series Again, which is written by Quantico’s Marisha Mukerjee.

It has also partnered Ronnie Screwvala’s RSVP for its first original movie from India, ‘Love Per Square Foot’. The film will be exclusively available to more than 109 million Netflix members in 190 countries simultaneously on Valnetine’s Day.

It also expanded partnership with Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment by commissioning a new multilingual Netflix original series, based on the book, Bard of Blood.

The new deal built on the partnership that began in December 2016 wherein Netflix secured a long-term deal with Red Chillies to be the global home to Shah Rukh’s upcoming and past films.

Meanwhile, Netflix founder, chairman, CEO and president Reed Hastings said he is pleased with the progress made by the service in international markets including India, where it launched in January 2016.

“We definitely are seeing success, as you all know, and your channel checks and other things tell it in the different markets. And when we compare it to Latin America several years ago, we’re very pleased with the progress that we’re making through India, through Southeast Asia, through Japan — and Japan,” Hastings stated.

“So really all across the board, we’re seeing growth penetrations that look like the first couple of years of Latin America, which, as you know, has worked out very well for the company.”

Queried about the Disney-Fox merger and its impact on the Indian OTT market, Hastings said that the deal doesn’t change his view about that market.

“I mean, YouTube gets the most streaming in India, but Hotstar gets the second most. So it’s not a wildly different landscape. So that wouldn’t particularly change our view in India. Hotstar’s a great competitor, and sometimes collaborator now, and I’m sure they would continue to be under Disney,” he said.

In 2017, Netflix’s streaming revenue grew 36% to over $11 billion. It also added 24 million new memberships compared to 19 million in 2016. It also achieved for the first time a full-year positive international contribution profit, and more than doubled global operating income.

For Q1 Fy18, the internet TV service has projected global net adds of 6.35 million (vs. 5 million in the year-ago quarter), with 1.45 million in the US and 4.90 million internationally.

In 2017, average streaming hours per membership grew by 9% year-over-year.

With greater than expected member growth (resulting in more revenue), Netflix plans to spend $7.5-$8 billion on content on a P&L basis in 2018.

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