Trade pundits take stock of Netflix’s loss after Sacred Games 2 leaked online within hours of release
Given the wide success of the first season in the country, Netflix India went all guns blazing for the second edition of Sacred Games. In what is said to be the biggest investment any streaming service has made on original content in India, the company reportedly sanctioned a budget of Rs 100 crore for the Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui starrer — this, when the highest investment on an Indian web show is estimated to be in the range of Rs 3-4 crore per episode for a 12-episode series. Clearly, the stage was set for a grand release. Unfortunately, within hours of the crime drama dropping online yesterday, all its eight episodes were leaked online by Tamilrockers, a website that has earlier been involved in the piracy of several Bollywood films.
Trade pundit Girish Wankhede says that it spells trouble for the streaming giant, which expected a 20 per cent jump in its subscriber base of 1.2 million, courtesy the Anurag Kashyap and Neeraj Ghaywan-directed show. “The platform recently announced a unique mobile plan, which isn’t available in any other country. This plan was introduced because the anticipation around the show was at an all-time high. The early estimates showed that the company was expecting around 20 per cent increase in subscription. But with this leak, it has lost about five to seven per cent of potential subscribers. Considering subscription is one of the biggest means of revenue, the leak will create a dent.”
Trade analyst Amod Mehra believes the turn of events will affect their existing user base as well. “Current subscribers may feel cheated and do a rethink before renewing their subscription. Sacred Games 2 was the company’s chance to win new users. I think this is a big blow to Netflix and they need to act fast.”
The rampant leak of Sacred Games 2 isn’t the only problem niggling Netflix India. Since early Thursday, Twitter was buzzing with avid fans complaining about the subtitles of the show marring the experience. Turns out, the subtitles in the second episode of the crime thriller were out of sync. Many fans complained that they could not binge-watch the season owing to this technical glitch.