FASSA SAR WRITES – Amazon and Netflix are now battling it out to gain the eyeballs of millions of Indian television viewers. These two company giants are moving away from the traditional Hollywood strategy where television and film are created for American audiences with the hope they catch some international viewers too. Netflix and Amazon, instead, are prioritizing development of television series that cater to multiple global groups, putting a lot of focus on India.

Amazon Prime Video are producing more than 20 original series in India, which is by far the most amount of shows the company has done in a single period. Also, Netflix has announced seven local series, “with the first – ‘Sacred Games,’ a Hindi- and English-language adaptation of Vikram Chandra’s 2006 novel steeped in Mumbai’s criminal underworld,” which will be later released this year with two Indian A-list stars as leading roles.

“The one mistake many OTT service providers make when entering India is only hosting western content, or only extending their regional offering to Bollywood movies,” said Curt Marvis, CEO and co-founder of Toronto-based QYOU Media. Amazon and Netflix are trying to correct this, realizing that their international content is not enough when simply dubbed or subtitled; it must be localized for India.

Hoping to appeal to India’s market, the second largest populated country, media giants are seeking opportunity in India, recognizing it as a viable chance to make a global impact and strengthen their respective bottom lines. This has subsequently been a win-win for many: job opportunities have skyrocketed, Indian consumers are being catered to, and there is less government censorship because these actions.

This has not just opened the doors for media companies to gain viewership, it has also created more jobs for Indian storytellers to get their shot. Working with Netflix and Amazon has enabled up and coming writers and directors to work with big budget projects like never before.

According to Datta Dave, a talent agent at Tulsea, India’s first talent agency representing writers and directors, “Experienced feature film writers are given the opportunity to be showrunners, which essentially elevates them to a producer role … There’s a renewed respect for the profession, which is a wonderful step toward creating better content.”

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