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Netflix with about 5% market reach in India is hoping that Shahrukh Khan's Betaal will win more viewers without having to cut prices

Preeti Soni | Jul 16, 2019, 04.40PM IST
  • Netflix is going to launch 5 Hindi series in 2020.
  • Among the five shows to be released in 2020 are — Mai, Betaal, Bombay Begum, Messy and Masaba Masaba.
  • The spectacular success of Mighty Bheem in particular is a good reason for Netflix to focus more on creating new shows locally.

Netflix is all set to battle the wide roster of options available in Indian market by rolling out five new series in the coming year — and that includes Shah Rukh Khan’s horror series ‘Betaal’ and Anushka Sharma’s Mai.

Among the five shows to be released in 2020 are — Mai, Betaal, Bombay Begum, Messy and Masaba Masaba. This comes after it tasted success of some of its Indian content both in the country as well as abroad.

The spectacular success of Mighty Bheem in particular is a good reason for Netflix to focus more on creating new shows locally. “The content is authentically Indian. The setting is rural India. The stories and characters are local. The more authentically local the show is, the better it travels,” Ted Sarandos chief content officer of Netflix told Business Insider India on June 18.

All for the eyeballs

Netflix had about 5% market reach in India, across platforms-- both web and mobile-- according to data from Comscore verified by Business Insider. This is largely because Netflix is the most expensive among all streaming platforms in India.

The American video streaming platform has been trying to keep itself “premium” in India and hence the all it’s plans are priced more than twice of what other OTT platforms charge. The basic Netflix plan starts at ₹500 a month, whereas, Hotstar’s premium membership starts at ₹299 a month. Amazon’s prime membership starts from ₹129 a month — and it has a lot more to offer than just its video streaming platform.

Giving in, reluctantly

Netflix is eyeing to capture a bigger pie of the Indian OTT market by rolling out domestic contest. Separately, it is also reportedly testing a mobile-only plan that is estimated to be price from ₹250 onwards — half the price of it’s basic plan in India.

But with the announcement of 5 new shows, Netflix seems to be hoping that content will win viewers over than just the pricing.

Stars in the net

Mai is a story of a 47-year-old woman who leads a double life of a don. “This is my second collaboration with Netflix after Bulbul and we are again looking to disrupt the kind of content audiences are consuming,’ said Anushka Sharma.

Further it is going to launch Betaal — a story of horror incidents that occurs when a British official unleashes a zombie.

Also, following the Amazon’s footsteps, Netflix is also going to roll out Bombay Begum (much similar to Prime’s Four more shots) which is going to tell the story of five urban women.

Netflix today announced five new original series across a variety of genres including Young Adult, drama, thriller, horror and comedy. With deadly zombies, scary gangsters and daring friends, these incredibly diverse Indian stories are for mainstream audiences in India and around the world.

Netflix’s successful shows

Huma Qureshi’s Leila — released on June 14 — made headlines for being one of the few dystopian dramas in India. Further, India’s most favourite Netflix series — Sacred Games— is also said to be a big hit in India and abroad. Sacred Games brought the dark underbelly of Mumbai’s underworld. Infact, a media reported pointed that 2 out 3 people watching Sacred Games were based out of India.

Netflix show Mighty Bheem, based on popular Indian show Chhota Bheem too garnered viewers internationally. Infact, the series’ 21 short Youtube videos have grossed 22 million viewers. And its ‘local’ flavour is the reason for its success.
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