Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings on Friday said the company has placed great emphasis on creating original Indian content for its audiences in the country and has invested Rs 3,000 crore towards that in 2019-20. He said that the streamer is committed to ramping up its original Indian content, something that will be visible to the audiences in the coming months.
“We are developing our Hindi and local content here (India) … so you will start to see a lot of stuff hit the screen, big investment,” Hastings said at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit. “Delhi Crime and Sacred Games have been two of our biggest successes here,” the CEO added.
Netflix has been building on its India library — currently comprising over 10 regional languages (including Hindi) — while also ramping up its slate of originals. Sacred Games, the firm’s biggest Indian property, is estimated to have cost over Rs 10 crore per episode, an analyst said.
Average shows likely cost about Rs 3 crore-4 crore per episode or lower. Hastings said the company is investing to become “more Indian in the content offering”.
Having launched its India operations in 2016, the platform has notched about a million subscribers in the country, according to research firm Media Partners Asia. Local rival Hotstar, that boasts of rich sports content alongside the famed Game of Thrones franchise, is estimated to be the top app in terms of downloads and monthly active users (MAU). It had 300 million MAU in June, as per a RedSeer Consulting report.
Nonetheless, Netflix has made decent profits — the Los Gatos-based company posted net profits of Rs 5.1 crore in the year to March 2019, while revenues grew by over 700 per cent to more than Rs 450 crore. The firm’s net profits stood at about Rs 20 lakh in FY18.