The content of the shows is extremely varied, but what they have in common is that they target an expanding female audience in India and were produced by American streaming giants.Netflix Inc.,Prime Video from Amazon.com Inc. and others. Businesses rewrite Indian $ 34 billion rules entertainment industry, bringing more women in front and behind the camera as they spend millions of dollars to take a slice of Asia’s largest open market for streaming.
An unprecedented surge in female-centric content highlights the disruption of the entertainment industry in India, which has typically relied on a prominent male actor to entice mostly male viewers to score a blockbuster. The change stems in part from thelockdown amid the coronavirus that has closed cinemas for months. With Indian women increasingly willing to pay for content they can watch on their phones or laptops, streaming platforms are pivoting to this under-exploited market.
As revenues increase in the economy by $ 2.9 trillion, per capita spending on media and entertainment is expected almost double to $ 35 in India by 2021 from five years earlier, according to Statista data.
A study carried out in 2019 by the Boston Consulting Group says Indian women are more and more have a say in household purchasing decisions. A 2016 study by Google and AT Kearney have estimated that the share of Indian women in overall online spending will increase to 42% by 2020 from 20% in 2015.
More than half of the Netflix movies released in India this year have a producer, according to Monika Shergill, vice president of content at Netflix India. Netflix saw female unique visitors jump to 40% last year from 26% in 2018, according to data from Comscore. The Los Gatos, Calif., Based company is working with 30 female producers and directors in addition to a dozen female writers this year, Shergill said.
“Better internet access pushes creators to create content that resonates with women,” said Ashivini Yardi, producer of the hit Netflix series.Masaba masaba», A show about a single mother and her fashion designer daughter.
Amazon declined to share the female audience for its shows, but said its six originals released in India this year had women leading the charge as creators, producers, writers or directors.
To capture more female viewers, Amazon “is constantly talking to more producers to represent different voices,” said Vijay Subramaniam, director and content manager for the company’s India operations.
India’s experience highlights a global trend in which more women are participating in the creation of streaming content aimed at women. Netflix had wives closed off 20% of her 53 original U.S. films last year, nearly double the female director representation rate among the top 100 grossing U.S. films of 2019.
As the pressure for equality grows in many film markets, the biggest changes in India are being driven by women seeking more choice in the content that is directed at them.
Watching movies and TV shows are often group activities in India, the decision of what to watch is usually made by the men in the household. Streaming gives women a more personal choice when it comes to entertainment – at least in certain segments of the population.
“People can watch what they want, where they want and by themselves on their personal devices,” said Dinkar ayilavarapu, partner atBain & Co. and responsible for technology, media and telecommunications. This now allows streaming platforms to “respond to niches,” he said.
At the same time, in a market like India, women are limited by their purchasing power as those who can pay for a streaming service form a “tiny” percentage, said Tejaswini change, associate professor of anthropology at New York University.
The world’s most prolific film industry depends on reopening theaters
On streaming platforms, producers with prospects of less financial risk and more creative freedom are experimenting, said Ganti, author of “Producing Bollywood: Inside the Contemporary Hindi Film Industry”.
For example, the popular Amazon Prime series “Four more shots please!»Deals with largely taboo issues such as female sexuality and homosexuality. The show, the first of its kind in India, features casual sex, gay sex, and sex in an open marriage – a stark contrast to Bollywood movies of yore.
“It opens up a world of storytellers,” said Anvita Dutt, writer and director of Netflix’s “Bulbbul”, the film about the vigilante who is mistaken for a witch. “Someone in Spain could watch my film.”
– With the help of Vrishti Beniwal and Archana Chaudhary
(Updates with comments from an Amazon Prime Video executive in the ninth paragraph.)
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