A screenshot of 'Bard of Blood' from Netflix.
Entertainment

How Netflix Fumbled India

Photo: A screenshot of 'Bard of Blood' from Netflix.

In 2019, Amazon and Netflix each released spy thrillers on their streaming services aimed at the India market—with dramatically different results.

Amazon’s “Family Man,” which told the story of a middle-class man who secretly spies for India, nabbed rave reviews, became the most watched original series on the Indian version of the company’s Prime Video service and is expected to debut a second season this summer. Meanwhile, Netflix’s “Bard of Blood,” a tale of a former spy turned English teacher, bombed and wasn’t renewed.

Netflix has taken the world by storm, signing up more than 130 million subscribers outside the U.S. in the past decade, nearly twice as many as it has in North America. In most countries and regions—including Italy, the U.K., France, Spain and Latin America—Netflix has more subscribers than its main U.S. rival, Amazon Prime Video, according to Ampere, a London-based data and analytics firm. But in others, including India, Japan and Germany, Amazon has unexpectedly left Netflix in the dust.

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