Netflix plans to give Indian viewers a more cinematic TV experience with “big budget big scale productions”, the streaming giant’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos has said at the MoffettNathanson Annual Media & Communications Summit in New York.
Differentiating its local original content from that of local broadcasters will help Netflix succeed in what he termed “a television starved market’.
“What we are trying to do is bring something new to the country with cinema-infused television. Big budget big scale productions in long form storytelling,” said Sarandos.
Noting India’s love of the cinema, we added, “We believe that it is the big budget production with scale and local stars which I think people like as much as they love movies”.
Six original shows are in production in India, with its adaptation of the Vikram Chandra novel Sacred Games, starring Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte set to be the first to stream on 6 July.
Sarandos estimates 85% of the company’s total spending globally is now on new shows and movies, with 470 originals scheduled to premiere by end of the year. More than 90% of Netflix’s customers regularly watch original programming, he added.
Appointments have been made to help channel the US company’s growth in India. Shrishti Behl has taken the post of director for Netflix originals in India, while former Fox executive Swati Mohan will be responsible for brand marketing in the country.
Netflix has also recently announced it would make its service and complete content library available to subscribers of Indian direct-to-home (DTH) platform Tata Sky over the coming months.
This move to expand its reach in India follows similar deals with the now merged DTH companies Dish TV and Videocon d2h, and telco Vodafone’s RED postpaid customers. Airtel and Jio are also reportedly in talks for a tie-up with the subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service.