Netflix has bought the rights of two Kannada movies: U-Turn and Thithi. Thithi, being the second regional movie, is the newest one streaming on Netflix. The on-demand video streaming service is also looking out for more regional and local content, said a source. U-Turn and Thithi, being well celebrated movies of Kannada, are expected to give Netflix high viewership among the local audience.
According to recent reports, Netflix is likely to spend nearly USD 300 million (Rs 30 crore) on India-focused content in an attempt to lure viewers, which is much higher than Amazon’s USD 75 million (Rs 7.5 crore).
When Netflix was launched in India, it planned to capture viewers who were interested in content that was primarily from countries such as the U.S. and the U.K., and did not invest significantly in local content. To some extent, this strategy limited the company’s growth in the Indian subcontinent.
Subsequently, Amazon focused on regional content and has an estimated 9.5 million Prime Video subscribers in the country since its launch just six months ago. Despite being in the country for longer, Netflix had only 4.2 million subscribers in the region as of January.
Netflix now seems to be gearing up to compete aggressively with Amazon in India’s high-growth streaming market. It has already partnered with Indian production houses such as Red Chillies Entertainment and Viacom18 Motion Pictures. Recently, Netflix was also reported to have closed a long-term deal with Aamir Khan Productions, worth Rs 500 crore, to bring the entire catalogue from the latter to its on-demand video streaming service.
Recently, Netflix has been in talks to set up an office in Mumbai. This office will be the size of their office in Tokyo, which now has about 50 employees. The office in Mumbai will be Netflix’s fourth office in Asia after Tokyo, Singapore and Taiwan.