“We are working with content creators in India to add more Bollywood titles"
Netflix have announced their bold move to make their services available in India and 190 other countries at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
Netflix is the world’s biggest on-demand video streaming service.
The service has already gone live in India, with subscription rates starting at around Rs 500 per month for the ‘Basic plan’, Rs 650 per month for the ‘Standard Plan’, and Rs 800 per month for the ‘Premium Plan’.
These plans all offer the same content however the levels of streaming quality differ, with the premium plan featuring ultra HD content.
Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, said at the CES Keynote: “Netflix was the first to allow binge watching and gave consumers control over entertainment. We have helped consumers discover value of entertainment on demand.”
At the moment, the content available in India is incredibly different from the US, as it is not offering all of the latest movies and the number of Bollywood titles available is a measly 100.
Despite this, all of the Netflix original content will be available.
Chitavan Pandya Patel, director content acquisition for Netflix said: “We are working with content creators in India to add more Bollywood titles, and also Indie local films.
“We are working on expanding licensing rights in India to add more variety of content, across languages.”
This addition will be an interesting one, as there are very unique challenges to the Indian internet culture. With piracy through torrenting running rampant due to it being the easiest ways for Indians to get video content.
There are also issues considering that the internet speed in India is very different and online streaming could be a problem for many. The minimum required speed of 512kbps.
They also recommend a speed of 3mbps for SD videos and a 5mbps for HD ones, which just may not be possible for many.
There are also issues with the lack of censored content on Netflix.
Chris Jaffe Product Lead for Netflix said: “Of course, we don’t wish to flout any local laws. But we plan to take on this on case by case basis. For now all the content is uncensored on Netflix.
“We also do have a rating system for our content and that’s clearly visible when you’re watching a movie or show. So we will warn a user if a content has strong language, violence etc.”
As far as we know, Netflix’s content has yet to be reviewed by the Censor Board. The company has said that they will watch and learn to see how reaction to their services pan out in India.
Overall it’s good to see that Netflix are spreading their wings and making their content more available to everyone they can.
The on-demand service will also be available in Pakistan, with the first Pakistani film being the acclaimed Zinda Bhaag.
The film reportedly went through a very strict selection criteria, where issues of audio and legal documentation were required.
Producer, Mazhar Zaidi, told media: “It is an immense platform in the western world and the number of cinemagoers has actually decreased over the past few years.”
However, they do need to take into account that different countries have specific needs when it comes to streaming. Particularly as internet speeds and availability are very different across the world.