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25 Feb 2017

Netflix, Prime open up avenues for Bollywood production houses

Online on-demand entertainment platforms are opening up new revenue streams for a wide variety of media content.

Formerly renowned but now inactive Bollywood production houses have seen revenues trickle from satellite TV rights in last few years; however online platforms offer new avenues for old classics or popular films made years ago.

Indie movies, regional movies and even documentaries are now getting global access.

In context

Netflix, Amazon Prime a boon to varied content

40% drop in prices of satellite rights

Since last year, prices for satellite TV rights have dropped by 40%. Reasons include limited and fixed annual budgets, limited "purchasing power" for unexpected movie hits and also box office performance is not an effective yardstick for success on television.


Old classics are being dusted off

Renowned Bollywood production houses own rights to many well known titles made over the last few decades.

However, classics or popular old films would not be released in theatre or even sought after on DVDs but can add great value to an online library of movies and other media.

Until now, older films earn revenue from video on demand, mobile rights and direct-to-home platforms.

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Satellite and Digital rights sold separately

Veteran producer Pahlaj Nihalani : "I'm definitely happy (with the new digital opportunities), any new platform or technology coming in means additional revenue for the film industry. People want entertainment and any platform is welcome for the same."


Global audience for Indie movies, documentaries

Since the time Netflix launched in India, it has been releasing indie films to a global audience.

Netflix catalogue includes several Indian films that may not have had a release either in the theatre or on DVD.

Even regional movies have enjoyed a global release with subtitles available in over a dozen languages.

Indian documentaries have also been licensed providing them visibility and traction.


Amazon Prime a boon for regional movies

In addition to Bollywood titles, Amazon Prime Video is populating its catalogue by regional movies in languages including Tamil, Telugu, Marathi.

With help of subtitles, small regional movies can now be accessed by a pan-India audience with ease.

Prime is also giving a platform to original series by partnering with local content producers, authors and writers offering choices to Indian consumers like never before.

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