Netflix Boss Responds To The Qs We'Ve All Had: Why Is Some Of Its India Content Terrible?

In an interview, Ted Sarandos, co-CEO of Netflix, opened up about the challenges to woo Indian viewers.
Ted Sarandos arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Ted Sarandos arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

As far as the Indian streaming market is concerned, Netflix India still seems to be struggling to find its feet, despite being in the market for nearly 5 years now. Barring a few titles such as Sacred Games, Bulbbul, Delhi Crime and a few others, the Indian content catalogue largely falls under the mediocre category, compared to its run in other countries, especially the US where it has consistently secured Oscar nods for films such as Marriage Story, The Irishman, Roma besides others.

In an interview with journalist Anupama Chopra for The Economic Times, Ted Sarandos, who was recently promoted as the Co-CEO, opened up about Netflix’s uneven India journey.

When Chopra asked him about some of the streaming giant’s ‘terrible’ Indian slate, Sarandos said,

“At the beginning there’s always a lot of trial and error with projects that we end up picking over various stages of production and you will see a constant improvement. If you remember, when we came into the market making movies in the US with a pretty spotty track record too.”

He further added, “The creative process is iterative and I do think the time to get to know the market, getting to know the audience and getting to know the creators has yielded us massive improvement all the way to where you’re talking about 17 Oscar nominations last year and I don’t think we would have got anywhere near that with our first slate of films in the US and I think we were pretty lucky out of the gate with our Original Series with House of Cards and Orange is the New Black and even in India, with Sacred Games. I think we are trying to work with increasingly strong storytellers and telling new and fresh stories.”

Sarandos pointed out that Netflix remains bullish about its India trajectory, adding that “we’re seeing mainstream watching of content from India all over the world.” He also stated that the show, Mighty Little Bheem is now the most watched, non- english, animated series in the US, with a new season dropping this Friday while Sacred Games elicited a positive response from territories in Europe and Latin America.