Netflix Engagement Report: An Overview of Indian Movies and TV Shows on the Platform

Indian content garnered less views on the platform as opposed to other foreign language content, with Rana Daggubati’s ‘Rana Naidu’ clocking in the most hours.
Netflix Engagement Report: An Overview of Indian Movies and TV Shows on the Platform

Netflix Engagement Report came out on 13th December, the first time the platform has chosen to reveal its viewership on such a detailed basis. It first made this attempt in 2021, when it introduced a separate section on the website to showcase its popular shows of the day in a particular region. The publicly available excel sheet has 18,000 titles with information of how much viewership they received between January to June of this year, and it has committed to disclosing numbers every six months in an exercise for transparency — claims Ted Sarandos, CEO of Netflix. The data also clarifies where the particular show or a film got a global release. There were several predictable favourites on the list: the latest seasons of Outer Banks, You, Crash Course in Romance, Ginny & Georgia, XO Kitty, Alice in Borderland, Beef as well as Shondaland’s Bridgerton spin-off series Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.

Non-English stories generated 30% of viewership. The non-English language that performed the best on the platform was Korean, with shows like Business Proposal, Extraordinary Attorney Woo, Crash Landing on You in the top 100 shows. The third one kept its popularity momentum with 120 million viewing hours despite the fact it was released in 2019. Other languages that did phenomenally well were Spanish, German and Italian. Chiquititas, the iconic 2013 Brazilian show, clocked in 162 million viewing hours.

Indian shows and films ranked lower in its behemoth of a list. There are only a few titles that made it to the top 1000. Rana Naidu, ranked at 336, clocked 46.3 million hours, and got the most number of hours amongst the Indian streaming content. 

We briefly take a look at how the Indian ventures performed on the platform.

How did This Year’s Indian Film Releases do on Netflix?

Amongst the spate of films that Netflix acquired through licence, Chor Nikal Ke Bhaga starring Yami Gautam and Sunny Kaushal clocked in 41.7 million hours. Mission Majnu, starring Sidharth Malhotra and Rashmika Mandanna, which was received unfavourably by critics due to its portrayal of Pakistan, clocked in the second highest figure for viewing time - 31.2 million hours. It was closely followed by Mrs. Chatterjee Vs Norway, though lacking a global release on Netflix, the film garnered an impressive 29.6 million hours after a small theatrical run in India (it had released to mixed reviews from both the critics and the audience). RRR's Hindi dub grabbed attention with 29.4 million hours, driven partly by an Oscar-related surge. The Rajamouli film arrived on the platform shortly after the Oscar win of its song ‘Naatu Naatu’, composed by Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava. Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar, Luv Ranjan’s romantic comedy starring Ranbir Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor, amassed 27.1 million viewing hours. Like Mrs Chatterjee, Tu Jhoothi also did not have a global release.

Kartik Aaryan’s Shehzada, a remake of Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo, held 24.8 million hours, with the original film also finding momentum on Netflix with 3.9 million hours of viewing. Aaryan’s film, also starring Kriti Sanon, was both a critical and commercial failure, and though the numbers within the global context don’t seem particularly thriving, amongst the scores of Indian films on the platform, it coped relatively well. 

Further down the list, we have Gumrah, starring Aditya Roy Kapur, recording 14.7 million hours. Vaathi, starring Dhanush and Samyukhta Menon, accumulated 9 million hours. 

Aasmaan Bhardwaj’s film Kuttey, produced by his father Vishal Bhardwaj, and starring Tabu, Konkana Sen and Arjun Kapoor among its sprawling cast, was critically panned and managed to pull a meagre 7.3 million hours of viewing. These are underwhelming numbers for a new film, especially when put in the context of how much Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Gangubai Kathiawadi was able to garner this despite arriving on the platform a year ago — it got  7.1 million hours from January to June of this year.

Some Older Film Releases Maintained Momentum

Mili, starring Janhvi Kapoor, was a remake of the Malayalam film Helen, and was viewed for 12 million hours. The film was released last year. Darlings, starring Alia Bhatt, Vijay Varma and Shefali Shah, which is also on an accolade streak, clocked in 4.7 million hours.

Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani, Ayan Mukerji’s directorial starring Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, and garnered 6.7 million views till the month of June. Padukone and Kapoor’s second collaboration, a romantic film, is also one of the highest grossing movies in Hindi cinema. Another Padukone film, Chennai Express, Rohit Shetty’s 2013 romantic comedy starring Shah Rukh Khan and her in the lead, accumulated 4.2 million views.

Another romantic comedy witnessed a curious surge: The Zoya Factor, the 2019 film starring Sonam Kapoor and Dulquer Salmaan, also garnered 6 million views. Based on Anuja Chauhan’s novel, the film was a flop, but gained a small cult-like following over time.

How did the Netflix Original Indian Fiction Fare?

Amongst its Indian content that made its debut straight on Netflix, Rana Naidu stands tall as the top-performing Indian show, securing a robust 46.3 million hours of viewing. This Indian adaptation of Ray Donovan, featuring Rana Daggubati, proved its global appeal. Chor Nikal Ke Bhaga got viewers hooked for 41.7 million hours, followed by Mission Majnu with 31.2 million hours. The Hindi remake of Elite, Class, captured 27.7 million hours, showcasing exceptional performances by its young cast. Khakee: The Bihar Chapter also made a dent securing 14.3 million hours on a global scale. One of the best shows this year, Trial by Fire, got a global release, and captivated audiences with 13.1 million hours — despite being a limited show. Kathal, starring Sanya Malhotra who portrays a cop, managed to get 12.9 million hours.

A Look at Non-Fiction Series

To no one’s surprise, Indian Matchmaking is on the list as the only Indian reality show, securing a respectable 30.6 million hours. The Elephant Whisperers was all the rage during Oscar season, and despite being a documentary short, it managed to get 7.1 million hours of viewership. Ranveer vs Wild with Bear Grylls, a gimmicky interactive survival special managed to draw 6 million hours of viewership.

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