Chairman and MD of Reliance Industries Limited, Mukesh Ambani, will add more than 100 films and TV series to its streaming platform, JioCinema. After the massive popularity of its cricket broadcasts, the company is now in an effort to compete with global behemoths like Walt Disney Co. and Netflix Inc. in the rapidly expanding Indian market.
JioCinema's expansion will take place by applying charge for the content. Though the plan value is still being finalised, Jyoti Deshpande who is a President of the media and content business, revealed in an interview. She also added before the Indian Premier League cricket season ends next month, new titles will be released, and viewers will still be able to watch matches free of cost until then.
India, with a population of 1.4 billion, a burgeoning middle class, and widespread internet access, has a huge potential audience. During the IPL's opening weekend in April, JioCinema received more than 1.47 billion video views, and a match on Wednesday attracted 22 million people.
According to Deshpande, it is currently quite difficult to get into the market where global streaming platform behemoths have already acquired a large part of it. Netflix has reduced its price to attract more users. But the Indian viewers are still choosy while watching the video online. So JioCinema's expansion is focused on both price and content.
Moreover, she said the plan is to keep tariffs simple for the viewers. The streaming space is currently "dominated by Westernised content. Jio Studios aspires to serve as a catalyst for the exchange of talents and wants to sound as Indian as possible.
The JioCinema includes movies and series from thrillers and romances to biopics in various languages, such as Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, and Marathi. Now, it will also release new and original films produced by Jio Studios, like Section 84 by Amitabh Bachchan and Dunki by Shah Rukh Khan. In addition, a multi-year, multi-film agreement between Jio Studios and SVF Entertainment for the Bengali market was also recently revealed.
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