Netflix won’t change the way we watch TV in India

If you expect ‘Game of Thrones’ to be uncensored, you may be left feeling disappointed.

The big daddy of video streaming is here in India. There’s been a lot of excitement about Netflix’s entry. Many friends who wait tirelessly to watch shows like Narcos, based on the story of the Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, and Orange is the New Black, set in a high security women’s prison, which have been developed by Netflix itself, can’t help high-fiving at the thought.

Till now most people were using Netflix by hacking their way using VPNs or downloading it illegally using Torrents.

But the reason why I’m not impressed with Netflix in India is that it will not be providing the holistic experience of an on-demand video library that you get in the US and UK.

The simple reason for this is the type of content deal it has struck with the creators. Yes, for some shows it will retain the rights to air them, but if you expect Game of Thrones, which returns later in the year, to be the uncensored version you don’t see on TV, then you may be left feeling disappointed.

Some of my friends here have both the US and UK Netflix accounts to watch all the shows they want. This is because the content that’s available in UK is not necessarily available in the US and vice-versa.

The only glimmer of hope is: Netflix’s entry in India means that it will also develop local content of a high calibre, something we’re not used to seeing from the likes of Star, Zee or Colours. Basically, network TV.

Sure, it will probably enter with an impressive library of content, but it will not be able to reinvent the wheel right away. It is perhaps also the reason why Apple hasn’t been able to launch its latest Apple TV in India. Amazon has been selling its Kindle tablets in India for some time, yet, its video service hasn’t even made a cameo.

It is also the same reason why we haven’t seen most of the big music streaming services enter India. Spotify being a prime example.

This is why I am not really thrilled about Netflix launching in India.

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