Netflix or Amazon Prime video films and series are a real hit in India. You arrived four years ago in a country where the film library was very small. In 2019, these companies invested, which made it possible to create a lot of content, but there were multiple outbreaks of right-wing extremist voices. You accuse these two companies of harming Indian society. And yet …
1.3 billion inhabitants
1.3 billion people live in India, half of whom are over or under 25 years old. That’s why Netflix invested $ 400 million in 2019. With Amazon Prime Video, the two companies managed to exploit and take advantage of a breach against the company. An empire shared by these two giants with a total of 70 original content created within four years. So far, Indian content has been relatively short and with no real story. The investment by the two platforms allowed the creation of long-tail films and series, but not without risks.
“This year has been an amazing year for us in India as we are one of the fastest growing markets in all of Netflix worldwide. We have a huge base of new members in India who we believe are starving for various stories and formats. Said Monika Shergill, vice president of content at Netflix India.
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Multiple content items have managed to traverse the country to make it into the top 10 most watched series in the world, including Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives and Mighty Little Bheem. Successful series that allow companies to have more and more subscribers and there is a pretty tough challenge too. In India, households generally have only one television and few are connected. However, you can rely on smartphones. India is the second country with the most active smartphones. Therefore, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are mainly viewed from these devices. At the same time, to access streaming platforms on a smartphone you have to pay a subscription of 2.21 € / month or 199 rupees for Netflix or 1.43 € / month for Amazon. Classic subscriptions cost a lot more. It costs € 5.77 / month (499 rupees) for an entry-level package and € 9.24 / month (799 rupees) for the four-screen subscription. However, not everyone can afford it. Netflix recently announced the launch of a Mobile + subscription, which allows a single person to access the content offered in HD (480p for the subscription for € 2.21).
32,800 rupees, the average salary in India
The average salary for a person is 364 euros, or 32,800 rupees. A subscription that can be expensive and exclusive to some people. This is on top of the risks that Netflix and Amazon Prime Video face and that shape the cultural sphere of India through their productions. Movies and series released in India are controlled and should not exceed certain limits such as sex, violence, homophobia, religion etc. However, this new audience is very fond of new content, which many political parties dislike.
“This type of programming was not possible in the past. The new world of streaming offers developers new freedoms, ”said Gaurav Gandhi, Managing Director and Managing Director of Amazon Prime Video India.
On the way to a coalition
Netflix and Amazon Prime Video aren’t the only streaming platforms in India. They came together to regulate the release of films and series of a new genre (for India) in the hope that the government would change their mind. In addition, Shibasish Sarkar, CEO of the Reliance Entertainment group, which is at the helm of one of the largest production companies, said in an interview that the cultural side of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video was reached in three years, which is the classic Indian film and television industry has reached in thirty years.
Meanwhile, India was in the spotlight at the Emmy Awards. In 2019 and 2020, films and series were nominated in certain categories. Still, it wasn’t until the 2020 ceremony that they won an award for the first time. This is dedicated to the crime in Delhi, which traces the story of a rape case in 2012.
A rough diamond that needs to be refined
After all, the cultural face of India has changed a lot within four years. New films and series have appeared with different frames than conventional content. Some political and religious parties disagree with the two companies at all. For their part, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video do not intend to deprogram future content. In addition, other Indian platforms support the momentum these two companies have brought to the country. They intend to change the country’s social standards despite the threat on their shoulders. In fact, a complaint has been filed against Netflix over a kiss on A Suitable Boy. India remains a diamond in the rough that will make money for streaming platforms in the years to come.