Among Netflix’s upcoming series and movies are supernatural crime thriller ‘Aranyak’ (starring Raveena Tandon), comedy title ‘Decoupled’ (starring R Madhavan), anthology series ‘Ray’, comedy thriller ‘Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein’, and love anthology ‘Feels Like Ishq’.
On Wednesday, Netflix also announced new seasons of its India originals such as crime drama series ‘Delhi Crime’ and ‘Jamtara’, romantic comedy ‘Mismatched’, crime drama ‘She’, comedy-drama series ‘Masaba Masaba’, and ‘Little Things’. Mumbai-based production house The Viral Fever (TVF) is also debuting the second season of its comedy-drama web series ‘Kota Factory’ on Netflix after streaming the first season on YouTube.
The new films include Hindi films ‘Haseen Dilruba’, ‘Ajeeb Dastans’, ‘Jaadugar’, ‘Meenakshi Sundareshwar’, ‘Dhamaka’, ‘Sardar Ka Grandson’, ‘Pagglait’, ‘Milestone’, Tamil film ‘Navarasa’, and Marathi film ‘The Disciple’.
Other titles include a new reality show called ‘Social Currency’, new seasons of reality television series ‘Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives’ and Conde Nast India’s wedding reality show ‘The Big Day’, and a comedy special by Kapil Sharma.
Documentary titles ‘Searching for Sheela’, ‘Crime Stories: India Detectives’, ‘House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths’ and ‘Indian Predator’ are also part of the company’s 2021 lineup.
Netflix ramps up India content
Netflix has been ramping up its content spends in India amid a surge in content consumption in the country. In December 2019, the streaming giant
had announced plans to spend Rs 3,000 crore on content programming in India across 2019 and 2020. It has commissioned about 90 to 100 productions, including 30 films, in the country since its India debut in 2016. This was the company’s largest investment in original programming outside the United States.
In India, Netflix
competes with players such as Disney+ Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Times Internet-owned MX Player, Essel Group’s ZEE5, Sony Pictures Network’s SonyLIV, and Reliance-backed ALTBalaji, all of which have strengthened their content programming over the past year.
These announcements, however, come at a time when the Indian government
is tightening its grip on the content of video streaming platforms through a set of new guidelines under the Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. Netflix and others will have to comply with a new three-tier self-regulatory complaint redressal system, with the information and broadcasting ministry exercising complete oversight over the process.
An independent self-regulatory body headed by a retired high court or Supreme Court judge is expected to decide on matters related to content, as per the new mechanism, ET reported last week. The self-regulatory body as well as the oversight committee now have the powers to warn, censure, admonish or reprimand streaming platforms for their content.
Streaming platforms will also have to classify their content into five age-based categories — universal rating (U), U/A 7+, U/A 13+, U/A 16+ and Adult. Content will also have to be classified on the basis of themes and messages, violence, nudity, sex, language, drug and substance abuse, and horror.
On Tuesday, ET reported that top executives of streaming apps deliberated on the possibility of nominating Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) as the sole self-regulatory body with the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, although a final decision was not taken.
Disclosure: MX Player is owned by Times Internet, the publisher of ETtech.com.