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Netflix India to roll out its biggest lineup of originals this year

Nandana James Mumbai | Updated on March 03, 2021

Rolling out 40 originals, including 13 movies, 15 series, 4 documentaries, 3 reality shows and 6 comedy specials

Netflix India will be rolling out more than 40 originals in 2021, which would be the biggest lineup of originals the US-based streaming giant has ever had in India.

Over the last two years, Netflix invested ₹3,000 crore to ramp up original Indian content. “The 2021 slate is easily 3x of what we've had before. We are sort of charging ahead with a very robust slate and significant investments,” Monika Shergill, Vice-President, Content, Netflix India, told BusinessLine. “The year 2021 is a big leap for us in terms of the kind of entertainment we are presenting to our audiences here… We are very bullish on our (content) slate,” she said.

Last year, Netflix India had rolled out 28 original films and series, while it had 20 original films and series in 2019.

The content slate of over 40 originals Netflix India will be coming up with this year include 13 movies, 15 series - including season two renewals - four documentaries, three reality shows, as well as six comedy specials. Every month will see 2-3 originals from Netflix India, said Shergill. ‘Originals’, as per the over-the-top (OTT) platform parlance, means content created by an OTT platform in-house, which would be exclusive to it. “For us, as Netflix, working on originals is the primary goal and that's what we do as a service, which is why you're looking at a slate which has 40 plus originals,” said Shergill.

“Besides this, there will be a very robust pipeline of theatrical films, which will be coming as licenced films on the service,” she said.

On the content strategy for 2021, and how it would be different from the previous years, Shergill said that while Netflix had a broad range of titles last year as well, this year’s slate is programmed to be a lot more diverse, catering to as many moods, flavours and formats as possible, to “reach out to all the different kinds of viewers that you have in a very, very heterogeneous country like ours.”

“There is no flavour or genre or kind of story that we are not bringing on the service on this slate,” said Shergill.

Aranyak, Bombay Begums, Finding Anamika, Mai, Ray, Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein, Decoupled, Finding Anamika and Feels Like Ishq are the new series which will be coming up on Netflix.

Delhi Crime, Jamtara, Masaba Masaba and She will have season two renewals; Little Things will have season four, while Kota Factory’s season two will be coming up on Netflix.

The new movies include the relationship drama Ajeeb Daastaans, Dhanush starrer Jagame Thandhiram, Taapsee Pannu’s Haseen Dillruba, Kartik Aaryan’s Dhamaka, and the moving family drama Sardar Ka Grandson.

Bulbul Tarang, Jaadugar, Jagame Thandhiram, Meenakshi Sundareshwar, Milestone, Navarasa, Pagglait, Penthouse and The Disciple are the other movies. There will also be documentaries, reality shows and comedy shows.

“We are targeting to be the service of choice for consumers in India. We really want to be that definitive service which gives everything to everyone in terms of their entertainment needs, in terms of how they consume the experience they get from Netflix,” said Shergill.

When asked about her views on the new rules by the government for OTT platforms, its impact on the way Netflix conducts business in India, and whether this would lead Netflix to tweak its features to meet these new guidelines, Shergill said: “Where the guidelines are concerned, they have just come. And I think the whole industry - and by that, I mean the creators, the different streaming services - everyone is just going through the guidelines in detail. And I do believe that when you look at the entertainment business and the way it's growing, particularly the streaming business, we've only just begun. These are just the very initial 2-3 years where original content is being made on the streaming services... Eventually, the goal of the government and the industry is to do the best by the consumers and the creators.”

Published on March 03, 2021

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