“The coming decade belongs to Indian stories, with streaming enabling expansion of linguistic palette and content diversity,” said Prime Video, India country director Sushant Sreeram.
While delivering a keynote address on “OTT: Powering India’s Storytelling and Creative Ecosystem” at FICCI Frames 2023 convention, he stated that Indian content is being loved by critics and gaining fans worldwide, even as it continues to break new grounds within the country. He also emphasised the impact of streaming services on the Indian media and entertainment industry, noting their role in taking Indian stories to a global audience. By offering convenient and easy access to the finest Indian content, OTT players have made Indian entertainment accessible to viewers worldwide.
Sreeram highlighted that 25 per cent audience of Indian titles on Prime Video comes from outside India. He mentioned that the Amazon Original series Farzi was released in 37 languages globally and streamed by viewers in 170 countries and territories over the launch weekend itself, in addition to entering the top 10 trending lists on Prime Video in multiple countries. He iterated that entertainment is now becoming borderless with streaming services like Prime Video expanding the linguistic palette of viewers. “Today, over 60 per cent of the customers on Prime Video stream content in four or more languages while 50 per cent viewership of local language content comes from outside the home states,” he said.
The country director spoke about democratisation of Indian entertainment. “The entertainment industry in India has become a unifying force, bringing together different regions and cultures through the power of storytelling. It has also given storytellers the broadest reach to audiences within and outside the country. It has revolutionised the way content is created, accessed, and consumed, providing viewers with a diverse range of pan-Indian and global content. This democratisation of storytelling has been gratifying to both witness and support.”
He identified three areas that will give further impetus to the growth of the Indian creative economy, with streaming acting as a force for good for India. First, public-private partnerships will play a more pivotal role – like the recently announced collaboration between Amazon India and ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) – are all critical steps in this journey. Second, alliances and accessibility are great accelerants to the creative ecosystem – be it through preferred devices, subscriptions, payment instruments, interface languages and such, or via deep alliances and collaborations among studios, creators and streaming services. Third, the rise in disruptive collaborations between storytellers across geos and cultures will further push the creative boundaries. The platform’s spy-action thriller Citadel is a perfect example of this.
“The next 10 years will be the decade for Indian stories, Indian storytellers. Borders and languages are no longer a constraint. Great stories will find their moment under the sun. We are at the cusp of a breakthrough. We have already seen early signs of it with our run at the Academy Awards earlier this year. That’s just a precursor for us.” He called upon everybody across the industry to take big bets, grow this category responsibly, provide a platform to stories that are all around us. “Always believe that it’s still Day 1,” he concluded.
FICCI Frames 2023 is taking place in Powai, Mumbai from 3 to 5 May.