Reliance Jio, one of the leading telecommunications companies in India, is planning to release 100 movies and TV series on its OTT platform JioCinema over the next 18-24 months, produced at a cost of over INR 2,000 Cr, to compete with established players like Disney+Hotstar, Netflix, SonyLIV, and Zee5. 70 of the content pieces will be movies, while the rest will be vernacular web series. The President of Reliance Industries Limited’s media business, Jyoti Deshpande, claims that this investment has not been witnessed before in the Indian entertainment industry. It is not immediately clear whether these offerings will be available for free to viewers. JioCinema recently offered free streaming of the Indian Premier League (IPL) for its users, taking on Disney+Hotstar head-on, which had previously relied on IPL for growth. This move comes at a time when the vernacular content space is witnessing healthy growth, with Indians spending 80% of their time on media and entertainment apps, and the industry projected to touch 70 Bn by 2030.
Viacom18 completed the integration of JioCinema on the same day as the announcement of JioCinema’s deployment of INR 2,000 Cr warchest to take on Hotstar, Netflix. In addition, the article notes that a day before the announcement, I&B Secretary Apurva Chandra raised concerns about the lax self-regulatory approach of streaming players leading to the production of undesirable content in the OTT space. The article also mentions that a new National Broadcasting Policy is in the offing, and it could bring the OTT space under its ambit.