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Netflix’s Reed Hastings meets I&B Minister

Netflix founder and co-CEO Reed Hastings, on Tuesday, met with the Information & Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur, and held discussions on the potential of the Indian market.

In a tweet, Thakur said he had a good discussion with Hastings, adding: “Today, consumers of content are travelling the world through stories; India offers a variety of opportunities and ideas in multiple languages.”

Hastings began his nearly week-long India visit with New Delhi and is next headed to Mumbai.

The Netflix chief’s India visit comes at a time when the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of OTT platforms in the country while bringing disruptions for the Indian cinema industry. But with around 40 OTT apps in the country vying for a piece of the fast-growing sector, the competition is fierce.

Going local
The American streaming and production major has been making big bets on local programming and driving subscriber acquisitions since it entered India in 2016. It has invested ₹3,000 crore in local programming over 2019 and 2020. It also announced a line-up of 41 titles, including films and series in March. In June this year, Netflix announced that Mumbai would be home to its first fully-owned, live-action, full-service post production facility. The facility will be fully-operational by June next year, and will have 40 offline editing rooms.

More recently, the OTT platform said it has entered into a strategic multi-year partnership with Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar’s Excel Entertainment. Under this partnership, Excel Entertainment will produce a variety of stories under its series banner, Excel Media & Entertainment, for Netflix, commencing with two projects tentatively titled Dabba Cartel and Queen of the Hill. In February, the Centre announced the new IT rules prescribing a three-tier grievance redressal mechanism for complaints relating to content streamed on OTT platforms, and asked OTT players to self-classify content on their platforms according to five age-based categories.

According to estimates by PwC estimates, by 2025, India is expected to be the third-largest video-on-demand market in Asia Pacific at $2.9 billion, growing at a CAGR of 17.5 per cent. The subscription video-on-demand segment alone is expected to grow at 18.3 per cent CAGR from 2020 to 2025, growing to $2.7 billion. The Hindu BusinessLine

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