Netflix to spend Rs 3000 cr on strengthening its local content offering in India
MUMBAI: Video streaming platform Netflix will be spending a massive Rs 3000 crore on creating content in India between this year and next year in order to grow its presence in the market.
Speaking at the 17th Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings said that the aim behind this allocation is to become more Indian in its content offering.
“We are developing our Hindi and local content here. This year and next year, we will spend about Rs 3,000 crore developing content. So you will start to see a lot of stuff hit the screen. We have got about 100 employees in Mumbai… We are really trying to invest in becoming more Indian in the content offering,” Hastings said.
Hastings also said that the next “five or 10 years are really going to be the golden age of television”. “You are seeing unbelievable and unrivalled levels of investment… We are seeing more content made than ever before,” he added.
He noted that the internet has the possibility to transform the Indian content market to be export-driven. “So far, we have had some amazing successes. Sacred Games travelled around the world, people were really interested and excited around those stories… We have Mighty Little Bheem… over the last year, over 27 million households outside of India have started watching it,” Hastings said.
On the growing competition in the US market with the launch of Apple TV+ and Disney+, the 59-year said that Netflix has been competing with YouTube and Amazon for about 13 years globally. “Now, there’s Disney and Apple, and many more. But we are very used to all that competition. We are constantly, all of us, trying to figure out how to please consumers. And that is what is creating investment,” he stated.
On the sensitive issue of data protection, Hastings said that Netflix is not importing and sharing data. “It’s not mixed with anybody else; it doesn’t have other purposes. We are not in the advertising business where we are trying to exploit different behaviours to sell you things.”
Hastings feels that regulation is not a major concern for curated entertainment. “Some people do think that the broadcast standard should apply to YouTube or Netflix or Amazon but it doesn’t really make sense… On the internet, you click and you choose each show, so there is much more openness to content that way. The people in homes are in control of that,” he stated.
He also stated that self-regulation is a pragmatic solution as far as OTT players are concerned. “What the government has done is that it has asked the industry to put together a self-regulation code which everyone has been working on and I think that will be a very pragmatic middle ground,” he added.