Netflix, world’s leading subscription service for watching TV episodes and movies on your phone and laptop, has gone live in almost more than 130 countries. Showcased at the CES, it has expanded to be almost…… well everywhere! And yes, it does include India! This is a pretty big step for the 1997 born company which then set to revolutionize the way people worldwide watched television. Things worth the mention are: Netflix says that its service “won’t be available in Crimea, North Korea, and Syria due to US government restrictions on American companies.” And major series like House of Cards and Orange is The New Black may not be available in markets where Netflix doesn’t own the distribution rights. Netflix also seems to have added Arabic, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese to the 17 languages it already supports.
But for now, lets talk a bit more on the desi side on this news.
A country with its young population growing day by day, their release in India was pretty straightforward. With a highly anticipated release line up of shows and an enormous number of subscriptions counting at 63.17 million as of October 2015 and people watching over 12 billion hours of Netflix video in Q4 2015, according to Hastings, Netflix has proven to be a huge boon for all the movie and serial fanboys and fangirls. It is also seen that the subscription is to set you back Rs.500 every month, right after you use their free month trail period. Then, when you get hooked on Netflix, get an upgrade to your account by opting for the Rs.650 and Rs.800 subscription per month. But how far is it going to go in the Indian audience, who look up to torrenting and most recently, Colors Infinity for satisfying their nerdy needs?
India is a torrent hotbed, in case you didn’t know. But that is a fact every Indian is highly aware of. From downloading enormous files to play the latest AAA titles to downloading the smallest files of mp3 formats to listen to music, BitTorrent exists everywhere. It is therefore no surprize that this protocol is used to download all sorts of movies and serials. However, come 2014 or so, one couldn’t even blame us poor Indians for resorting to piracy to catch the latest episode of Game of Thrones. With no TV channel showing us any of the highly rated series worldwide leaving a few exceptions for popular sitcoms such as The Big Bang Theory and Friends being telecasted on Zee Café and Star World, it can therefore be sympathised for us poor fans, who cant wait for the DVDs and Blu-Rays to come out. To mention, there was AXN broadcasting 24 and Hannibal for a while, while also getting the Indian audience the hyped about BBC original Sherlock, for which I sure can praise their efforts. But then, was there anyone else? And was there any channel dedicated to bring us the best of English serials, since we cant do with the saas-bahu soaps?
Enter Colors Infinity and HBO Defined.
In what for me was the most important move of all times to happen for the English viewership on the Indian TV to happen, this was something that was quite a few years late, but worth every minute of it. Or at least it was in the beginning. Speaking about Colors Infinity, I must say I was really hyped about it, waiting for it since quite a lot of time. And it surely delivered in bringing superhero favourites Arrow and The Flash to the Indian screen. However, I somewhat found the rest of the line up to be kind of lacklustre, or maybe I am just not too much into reality shows like Strictly Come Dancing or The Stage, which are somehow all that I find being telecasted nowadays, from the early days of watching Michael Bay’s The Last Ship or Mr. Robot, one of my all-time favourites in the modern era. This was disappointing, after showing such promise. Then there also was HBO Defined which bought the critically and commercially acclaimed fantasy drama Game of Thrones to the Indian viewers. These are also what I can say to be the only guys on my set-up box to regularly deliver me new movies to watch along with the premium Movies Now +, unlike simply coming up with gimmicks of a PIX-athon or a Movie of the Month.
The only question now remaining would be, is the release of Netflix in the Indian scene going to fix the habituated Indian to stop pirating and buying a meagre subscription of Rs.500 per month to access an enormous data base of movies and serials to full fill every damn need? Will they make their way into the Indian audience as effectively as they have revolutionized the rest of the world with their innovative ideas and up-to-date line up? Let us know in the comments below and see who stands corrected after the test of time!
Also, don’t forget to spread the hype using #NetflixEverywhere!