The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Sonal, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
We are living in the era of globalization. We may be sitting in the most remote location of the planet and still be a part of a highly publicized event occurring at the other side of the world. I know, when I talk about facilities and services being accessible to everyone and everywhere, a pessimist Indian can’t help but frown and complain about dwindling internet speeds, sub-grade facilities and stunted options. What we need to appreciate here is that the country is hardly sixty-five years young and people are able to aspire for what the citizens of the most developed economies can. Add to that the absolute bureaucracy and stifling corruption clad in varying diversity and you would be thankful, we are still developing. Okay, apart from all the philosophy, lets agree on at least one thing, we all love the English TV shows. The dawn of NETFLIX in INDIA is the best new year gift that we can hope for. For the people not so show-savvy, NETFLIX is the biggest online streaming platform that in addition to the huge general content creates exclusive content of its own. But why INDIA, why now?
Since many years, NETFLIX has been hinting at its mass expansion and India was undoubtedly a potent part of it. There has been a steady rise in Indian viewership, be it Hollywood movies or the TV shows. I will agree that the viewership achieved by Indian soap and drama still dwarfs this number, lets also consider the cost that Netflix will incur in future for failing to capitalize such a loyal user base. Looking at the bundle of positives that Netflix brings with it, we can talk about quality and quantity. Unlike Indian TV show collection which appears like monotonous and colorful copies of each other, majority of shows that Netflix brings to us are qualitative work. They are the result of worldwide opinions, hence are better image of what actually the world desires. The minimum price of five hundred rupees being charged by Netflix are just about the same, which our international peers are being charged with. I personally feel that Netflix would be good for us simply because they will give the substandard Indian TV shows a run for their money. Right now the Indian viewer is in state of limbo, because he has lost all expectations of quality from the idiot box and has resigned to watching anything that plates a good dressing sense and stimulating shooting-set. This will change with Netflix. This will also be a big boost for independent Indian Cinema. Lastly, Netflix is still away from the clutches of nosy censor board and viewers have right to decide what is good for them and what is not.
However, Netflix will be an infallible competitor to the similar Indian platforms (Hooq and BoxTV) that do exist or those that would try to come. Just compare the situation with ecommerce where Amazon seems infallible and in retail industry, Walmart if unchained from red tapes, can monopolize Indian retail. These world champions have big coffers and huge international business to fall back to, giving them an unfair advantage. I understand that there is globalization around us but it would be unfair to our entrepreneurs if their attempts to stand or learn are stunted by such titans. Everything in excess is bad, and so this area needs moderation too.
All in all, this is the dawn of quality viewership. Let’s stream!