To make deeper inroads into India, Netflix is looking to widen local content in 2022, especially in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam.

Monika Shergill, Vice-President, Content, Netflix India, told BusinessLine in an exclusive interaction: “In terms of content, we are looking at mixed genres, fast-moving genres. We are looking at Hindi and regional language content in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. There will be a primary focus on films in regional content.”

Shergill said many powerful and diverse stories will be told told on the platform.

Though films are returning to theatres, as the pandemic wanes, Shergill is not worried that the direct-to-stream era is over for big-ticket properties. “There will be more for anyone to enjoy. We are not missing direct-to-digital at all since we have a lot of content lined up. In fact, it is good for films to open in theatres and then come to the service, so that people who want to watch it in theatres can watch it there, while people who prefer to stream can do that,” she said.

Content strategy

According to Shergill, Netflix’s content strategy will continue to focus on originals. “The core of our content strategy is the originals that we make, we are programming bigger, we are programming much more diverse.” Licence cinema is a great addition to the strategy and “we are very excited to have a lot of films signed up for post-theatrical releases onto the platform,” said Shergill. Asked about the biggest draw for the Indian audience within Netflix’s vast repertoire, Shergill said, “If you look at Netflix’s top 10, you will see local content featuring in it consistently.” This is another reason why local content is a major focus for Netflix.

Netflix is slated to release Aranyak , a crime thriller starring Raveena Tandon, on December 10. “Our audiences love thrillers... that is our staple. The motivation to make this show is how uniquely Indian this story is. We, as a people, define our stories and that, in turn, defines us to the world,” said Tanya Bami, Director, Local Language Originals.