Netflix is raising its game by announcing its new ‘Netflix original’ series based on the critically-acclaimed best-selling novel ‘Sacred Games’ by Indian author Vikram Chandra to widen its user base in India. Shot on location in India, this Hindi-English series will be produced in partnership with Phantom Films, one of India’s leading production houses, and will be available to Netflix members globally upon completion.
Ever since Netflix’s entry in India since January, its nascent OTT space has come under the radar of almost every broadcaster and media venture to launch their products here. Now there are almost 20 players including Hotstar, Viu, Voot and Hooq amongst others who generally run a freemium (at extremely competitive prices) or advertisement-driven model.
Netflix with its limited library and a premium subscription rate (starting from Rs 500 per month for one screen and standard definition) knew it had to take that extra effort to gain more traction and create a firm footing in the market.
The company, however, maintained that its large collection of on-demand online content is for premium customers.
In March, it released its wildly popular series ‘House of Cards’ in the country which was not accessible to Indian users till then. Earlier, Netflix bought the streaming rights to Indie-movie ‘Brahman Naman’ scheduled to premiere later this year. The global service earlier announced that it allotted US$5 billion allotted for its programming, 60 per cent more than previous year with more than 30 new Netflix original series (or seasons of existing series) and 10 films exclusively. It has also added content from Epic channel, along with movies from the Rajshree banner and some titles like ‘The Good Road’, ‘Shahid’ and ‘Listen Amaya’, among others. Every month it’s updating its library with content from across the countries like Japan, Korea, France, Spain and Brazil.
Then it announced that Sony and LG TVs will receive its 2016 Netflix Recommended TV seal of approval. It identifies smart TVs that work best with its service to give an ultimate Netflix experience. The Netflix Recommended programme was launched last year for the US and now the company has made public its 2016 line-up of recommended TVs. These include WebOS TVs made by LG and Sony's line of Android TVs that will be sold in India also.
To cater to India’s internet problem – India has the lowest broadband speed in Asia -- Netflix (with 81 million users across 190 countries) introduced the new cellular data controls globally in May, a new tool to help the user to control how much data he uses while streaming on cellular networks. On cellular networks, this setting balances good video quality with lower data usage to help avoid exceeding data caps and incurring overage fees.