Netflix wants Indian Originals to Reach Global Audiences

The video-streaming site Netflix calls for more original Indian content to go global, following the premiere of ‘Love Per Square Foot’ and ‘Lust Stories’.


"In India, we’re ramping up our original content. We already have romantic films and a crime show."

Netflix, the world’s largest video-streaming platform is keen to get made-in-India content through to global audiences.

Having become a popular global name, Netflix has created over 80 shows in 30 international markets.

This new move by the streaming platform is a result of the recent premiere of two Indian films on Netflix, the romantic comedy Love Per Square Foot and the anthology Lust Stories which stars Bhumi Pednekar and Neha Dhupia.

Their popularity amongst audiences not just in India but around the world is indicative that more of this original content can be created.

In an interview with Quartz, the Vice Presidents of Netflix’s international originals segment, Kelly Luegenbiehl and Erik Barmack, discussed Netflix’s plans to expand original content in India.

Speaking about the global development of Netflix audiences, Barmack said:

“Over half of our global audience is now outside of the US and that number is growing faster than the US audience. So, over time, you’ll see more people from different parts of the world, India included, as part of that growth story.”

As Netflix expands on its plans to get more original Indian content going global, Luegenbiehl commented on the languages that will be spoken in the upcoming Indian thriller, Sacred Games. She said:

“We want to do the content in the language based on the authenticity of the situation. So if you see in Sacred Games, it’s multi-lingual. There are at least four languages in it.”

The platform is set to release its first Indian thriller, Sacred Games, as a web-television series. The series is based on the book Sacred Games (2006) by Vikram Chandra.

Well-known Bollywood actors that will star in the series include Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and Radhika Apte.

In the interview, Barmack reveals how the series came about. He said:

“Sacred Games is a book that a bunch of us internally had been fans of for a long time and when the opportunity became available, we jumped at it.”

The Vice President continued:

“Directors Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane also loved the book. It was sort of perfect timing of the right people and the right idea and our desire to bring that to a global audience.”

Luegenbiehl added some extra insight into how Bollywood actors reacted to the Indian Original opportunity. She said:

“To the credit of Sacred Games actors, they were really excited for this opportunity, and the filmmakers behind it. They were fans of the book.”

For Indian audiences specifically, Vice President Barmack reveals what they can expect to see from Netflix in the future. Adding to their current romantic Indian films, they will soon feature a supernatural horror and sports additions. He said:

“In India, we’re ramping up our original content. We already have romantic films and a crime show. Next up will be a supernatural horror, Ghoul, the adaptation of Aravind Adiga’s cricket novel Selection Day, and an unscripted show that’s based on the Mumbai Indians and the Indian Premier League.”

Looking to add more Indian Originals to the platform, Netflix seems confident. It hopes that it can provide Indian audiences with films and series that they will want to see. Barmack said:

“There are shows that do well around the world that do well in India, too. Like 13 Reasons WhyStranger Things, and Narcos. We have also seen that the Indian films we’ve put out have done very globally.”

Luegenbiehl and Barmack seem confident that the creation of more Indian Original content will attract a global audience. It remains to be seen whether Netflix will achieve this goal.

Nonetheless, it’s abundantly clear that Netflix is pursuing much more Indian content and attempting to satisfy its viewers from all over the world.

Sacred Games set to be released on 6th July 2018. We look forward to seeing what Indian audiences make of this Netflix Indian Original.

Ellie is an English literature and Philosophy graduate who enjoys writing, reading and exploring new places. She is a Netflix-enthusiast who also has a passion for social and political issues. Her motto is: “Enjoy life, never take anything for granted.”

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