Netflix’s Monika Shergill talks about crafting stories for every mood on OTT

The OTT giant is set to complete ten years in original programming globally


New Delhi: The OTT platforms have taken the world by storm. If there is one key trend that has completely revolutionised the way content is now being created across mediums, it is definitely these new-age platforms. And leading the way is OTT giant Netflix which currently boasts of over 209 million subscribers worldwide.

From originals, sit-coms, documentaries, adapted formats to movies, the platform offers something for every kind of viewer. It will also be completing ten years in original programming soon, globally.

"In all these years, we have tried to offer all kinds of stories on our platform - stories that feel real, and have universal emotions. We have had powerful novel based series, and multiple seasons each told in a fresh way," says Netflix India, vice president, content, Monika Shergill at the fifth edition of The Content Hub 2021, which concluded recently.

The three-day mega event organised virtually by Indiantelevision.com brought content makers from the world of television, films and OTT on one platform to delve upon the evolving media and entertainment industry. Indiantelevision.com's founder and CEO Anil Wanvari got into an engaging fireside chat with Shergill about Netflix's journey of creating content for the Indian masses.

"Netflix is creating stories for every mood," highlights Shergill. "As a streaming service, we are designed very uniquely. Everyone's version of Netflix is different. You can experiment according to your taste, and try new content anytime you want. The way Netflix is designed, it is to really reflect as many lives as we can, mood within moods, genres, creating an ocean of stories and unlocking its full potential."

The French series, Lupin which was released on the platform in January remained among its Top 10 shows across most countries for weeks. It recently released Taapsee Pannu starrer Haseen Dillruba, and Kriti Sanon's Mimi, and is gearing up for the release of the much-awaited fifth season of Spanish drama Money Heist. Then, there is the American teen romantic comedy, The Kissing Booth 3 in August.

"Haseen Dillruba has been trending ever since it was released. Ray (an anthology based on the works of Satyajit Ray) also spiked audience's interest. Money Heist remained in Top 10 for 117 days last year," Shergill says joyously. "What we are beginning to do is to create programming catering to different tastes. One story cannot work for everyone and we understand that everyone has different tastes, which we must cater to. Viewing of Kids content has increased by 100 per cent, and also the documentaries and films in different languages."

The final season of Money Heist is now set to launch in two instalments of five episodes each on 3 September and 3 December.

The platform had announced as many as 41 titles early this year, and has a huge pipeline of new series, shares Shergill. "Finding Anamika will mark Madhuri Dixit's debut on OTT. Then we will have another web-series, Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein in August which is a dark romantic series, bound to surprise everyone. R Madhavan will be seen in the comedy series, Decoupled. So, yes, we programme for every mood and taste," adds Netflix India's top executive, "Family dramas are also close to our hearts, and they appeal to the widest set of audiences."

According to Shergill, the platform has also made its mark as a global platform that has been successfully bringing best of stories from the world to India and vice-versa. "At a time when people cannot travel physically, we are taking them to different places through our stories. We are glad we are able to do it. All we want to do is entertain, and we promise that we have something for everyone. And, we deliver it to them in a responsible way," she sums up.

The fifth edition of the Content Hub 2021 was co-presented by IN10 Media Network and ZEE5, and co-powered by Applause Entertainment and Tipping Point, the digital content unit of Viacom 18 Studios. PTC Network was the supporting partner.

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