Between the wealth of motion picture and information technology talent in India, it’s no surprise that some smart projects are coming online. The web allows the Indian music, film and television industries to distribute to a worldwide audience of both Hindi and English speakers, to compliment their already low production costs, large existing audience and prolific output.
Jaman is a good example of how online portals for non-Western film markets are just as, if not more slick, than anything being offered by American or European distributors. Three other companies — Rajshri.com, Nautanki.tv and Wilderness Films India — are also taking advantage of the new distribution models online, each in a different way.
Imagine an American network putting the entirety of the popular miniseries Roots online to stream for free or download for a nominal fee. Well, the equivalent is being done by Rajshri.com, which is currently featuring B. R. Chopra’s epic Mahabharat. And that’s on top of a huge library of films, television shows, specials, concerts and music videos. Stream on demand via Windows Media or download for less than five bucks.
Nautanki.tv, offers short pieces on a fixed schedule, with a number of different channels and archives available on-demand. It all streams via a flash player, and is ad-supported. Plans include expanding the programming to include Gujarati, Malayalam, Tamil, Telegu and Bengali language channels. A share of advertising goes directly to the producers, and they’re even looking to reach WAP devices — giving them access to mobile customers who may not have broadband at home or work.
One company I find compelling is Wilderness Films India. Dude, check out this tiger attacking an elephant! Seriously though, the stock and specialty footage production company is using Google Video to handle content previews, downloads and sales. All they have to do is create the content, edit and upload, and any filmmaker, documentarian, editor, broadcaster or production company in the world looking for spectacular footage of India is only a click away.
Note: The author regrets making an incorrect inferrence regarding Nautanki.tv’s business background and further errors in the URLs referenced. The errors have been corrected.