After adding Selection Day and Again as part of its list of Indian original content, Netflix has taken yet another step to expand and strengthen its base in India and Indian content. According to the latest reports, Netflix has acquired the rights to stream S.S. Rajamouli s war epic Baahubali: The Beginning and Baahubali 2: The Conclusion for $4 million, which is approximately Rs 25.5 crore.
Netflix, which entered the Indian market in early 2016, said that it is doubling down on its Indian investments. As of now, Netflix is at the 9th position among video-streaming apps and services in India in terms of monthly active users, according to a report from App Annie Inc. On the content front, we are doubling down on Indian investment to curate a compelling content library encompassing original and licensed titles. We are touching a pool of consumers with a great passion for diverse entertainment, offering global originals like Narcos, Stranger Things, The Crown and mainstream, star-driven Indian films that have wide appeal (e.g. our Shah Rukh Khan titles or recent acquisitions of top ones like Dangal and Baahubali), said Jessica Lee, vice-president (communications), Netflix to Livemint.
On the other hand, Ramesh Bala, an observer of the south Indian film industry, tweeted about the deal saying that the movie will be available in 192 countries. His tweet read: “.@NetflixIndiaacquires the streaming rights @BaahubaliMovie for a whopping $4 Million [ 25.50 Crs] – Will be available in 192 countries..” ALSO READ: Netflix records more non-US subscribers for the first time, expects overseas biz to turn a profit
Apart from that, Shobu Yarlagadda, co-founder and CEO of Arka Mediaworks told Livemint that, Netflix is very bullish about the India market and is here for the long term. It is looking to acquire both licensed content and make originals but won t lap up everything. We are very happy and excited to partner with Netflix. Theatrically, its not possible to reach all markets, but with this deal Baahubali will reach 192 countries seamlessly, added Yarlagadda.
Baahubali 2 has collected Rs 1,700 crore gross at the worldwide box office and has earned over Rs 850 crore for its distributors. The period drama is slated to release in China in September. Owning the streaming rights for Baahubali: The Beginning and Baahubali 2: The Conclusion could surely prove to be a turning point for Netflix in terms of viewership in India. ALSO READ: Disney to pull out content from Netflix by 2019; will launch its own streaming service
In other news, Netflix is all set to open its first office in India later this year in Mumbai. Apart from that, Neflix recently also announced that its service will now be available on the DTH platforms of Bharti Airtel and Videocon. It has also tied up with Vodafone India where the telco’s prepaid and post-paid subscribers will be able to pay for their Netflix subscriptions directly to the telecom operators.