Netflix, Disney, Amazon Battle It Out As Bollywood Films Opt For 'Digital Premieres' Over Theater Releases

Subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services from Netflix Inc. NFLX, Inc. AMZN and Walt Disney Company DIS are engaged in a battle royal in India as Bollywood films increasingly opt for “digital premieres” instead of theatrical releases.

What Happened: India-based online financial platform Moneycontrol reported that 26 Bollywood movies have premiered on SVOD platforms so far this year. These films, produced in the Hindi language, were originally intended as theatrical releases.

Netflix reportedly showcased nine of these films, while Amazon Prime Video as well as Disney-owned Disney+ Hotstar streamed six films each. Four films were streamed exclusively on another SVOD platform, ZEE5.

The number of films produced in regional Indian languages is twice that of Hindi films.

More films in regional languages are expected to be released on SVOD platforms this year compared to last year, the report quoted Karan Taurani, senior VP of investment firm Elara Capital, as saying.  

See Also: Apple Lands 25 Daytime Emmy Award Nominations For SVOD Service But It Still Doesn't Match Up To Netflix

Why It Matters: Online streaming services have seen a surge in demand following the closure of theaters and people being forced to stay at home amid the pandemic. Netflix and Walt Disney’s Disney+ now boast of having millions of subscribers globally.

Film producers in India are increasingly opting to premiere their movies on SVODs as the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the closure of theaters.

Price Action: Netflix shares closed almost 0.4% higher in Monday’s trading at $532.28, while shares closed almost 0.7% lower at $3549.59.

Disney shares closed almost 3.6% lower in Monday’s trading at $172.95.

Read Next: AMC Strikes Deal That Will See It Reopen Two Of Top-Grossing Movie Theaters In Los Angeles

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