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With Netflix, Karan Johar ending deal, will this spell good news for other OTTs?

Karan Johar has created content including Lust Stories, Ghost Stories for Netflix and the success of such content led to the platform accelerate its investments in Indian content.

October 11, 2021 / 08:04 PM IST
Netflix was founded in August 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph.released in two parts.

Netflix was founded in August 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph.released in two parts.

The exclusive content deal between filmmaker and producer Karan Johar and video streaming platform Netflix has ended, according to a report.

This could spell good news for other over-the-top (OTT) platforms.

This is because now Dharmatic Entertainment, the digital content company by Dharma Productions which is helmed by Karan Johar can now work with other video streaming platforms.

Johar has created content including Lust Stories, Ghost Stories for Netflix and the success of such content led to the platform accelerate its investments in Indian content.

The company has already invested Rs 3,000 crore in India over the last two years and recently the company's CEO, Reed Hastings said that India as a market is a priority for Netflix.


But now with Dharmatic not bound by any deal, their content offering can be leveraged by other OTTs that are looking to add more Indian content on their platforms.

Before the 2019 deal with Netflix, Dharma Productions' movie library was with Amazon Prime Video that has also invested in acquiring mainstream, blockbuster commercial entertainers.

Amazon Prime Video was also the first to release Bollywood films meant for theatrical release directly on its platform.

Until the first half of this year, around 26 Hindi films that were originally conceived for theatrical release streamed directly on OTT platforms.

And Netflix was leading the race as the platform had showcased nine direct to digital releases. Whereas, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+Hotstar streamed six each, and ZEE5 streamed the remaining four, including those through its pay-per-view offering ZeePlex.

According to experts tracking OTT space, video streaming platforms last year had added four to five million new subscribers in the overall OTT space due to the digital first strategy for films.

Experts noted that streaming platforms are banking on Hindi films to build on their subscriber base and over the next two to three years will see the benefit of this investment in terms of new paid users.

With more than 4.6 million subscribers registered till June this year, Netflix is expected to see paid users going up to 5.5 million by the end of this year, according to report by Media Partners Asia (MPA), an independent provider of research, advisory and consulting services.

Netflix's rival Amazon Prime Video recorded subscriber base of 18 million till June and is expected to take the number up to 21.8 million by end of 2021.

This shows that competition is getting tougher amid OTT players in terms of adding new subscribers.

However, for Netflix the second quarter this year was a lean period when it comes to new subscriber additions.

In the April to June quarter this year Netflix saw a drop in new subscription additions. The platform had added only 1.5 million paid users globally and 1.02 million came from the Asia Pacific region.

In the previous quarter that is the period between January to March, 2021, Netflix added 3.98 million paid subscribers globally of which 1.36 million came from the Asia and Pacific region.

And now with the deal being called off with a big production house like Dharma, Netflix will now have to focus more on adding mainstream content to attract more Indian subscribers on the platform.

Maryam Farooqui
Tags: #trends
first published: Sep 21, 2021 10:23 pm

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