The next 10 years will be ruled by Indian stories as streaming allows more content diversity, and global distribution of the country’s content, as per Sushant Sreeram, Country Director, Prime Video (India).
Delivering a keynote address on ‘OTT: Powering India’s Storytelling and Creative Ecosystem’ at FICCI Frames 2023 convention, Sreeram said, “The coming decade belongs to Indian stories, with streaming enabling expansion of linguistic palette and content diversity.”
He also emphasised on the impact of streaming services on the Indian media and entertainment industry, noting their role in taking Indian stories to a global audience.
During the session, Sreeram highlighted that 25% audience of Indian titles on Prime Video come from outside India. Citing the recently released Amazon Original Series, ‘Farzi’ as an example, he stated that the show 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% of the customers on Prime Video stream content in 4 or more languages while 50% viewership of local language content comes from outside the home states,” he said.
Sreeram also spoke about democratisation of Indian entertainment. He said, “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 #forceforgood for India.
First, public-private partnerships will play a more pivotal role. Collaborations - such as the recently announced partnership between Amazon India and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) to provide holistic support to Indian creators and talent, by way of exposure, skills and capabilities trainings, masterclasses, internships, and scholarships, 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 collaborations between storytellers across geos and cultures will further push the creative boundaries.
Sreeram said, “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 added, “At Prime Video, we have had a journey that has placed us as one of the contributors to the acceleration we have seen. Today, I call upon everybody across the industry to take big bets, grow this category responsibly, provide a platform to stories that are all around us and of course think customer backwards. Always believe that it’s still Day 1!”