Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions, one of Bollywood’s most prolific film production houses, has launched a digital content company called Dharmatic .
In a set of tweets announcing the move, Johar said that Dharmatic will be jointly headed by him and Dharma Productions CEO Apoorva Mehta. The duo will exclusively create fiction, non-fiction and feature films for digital platforms.
Johar will be overlooking the creative end while Mehta will be driving the business side of Dharmatic.
There are many stories which cannot be told in a 2.5-3 hours feature film and need a longer duration, he said adding that “Digital, on the other hand, allows you to build the characters beautifully. And with so many Indian and international OTT platforms, I believe it’s the best time for us to be the content providers for this medium too.”
The director had directed a segment of a Netflix series called Lust Stories earlier this year.
The new digital version of Dharma Productions has also hired head of development, Dharma Productions, Somen Mishra, to head fiction and former journalist Aneesha Baig as head of non-fiction.
The move marks the entry of mainstream Bollywood into the Over The Top(OTT) digital content space, which is said to have a market potential of $5 Bn by 2023, according to a BCG report.
Dharmatic is looking to bring a variety of content in formats such as long-form, short-form, reality shows, travel, food, and game shows.
Video-on-demand is a growing segment in the country with players such as Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Voot, Ogle, Big Flix, Eros Now, Ditto TV, Muvi, and Spuul, AltBalaji jostling for eyeballs. There are currently 30 OTT companies offering on-demand video streaming services in India.
The country’s shift from watching TV in a social, mostly familial, manner to highly personalised small screen consumption is being driven by access to affordable data, rural mobile phone penetration, rising affluence, and service adoption across demographic segments — including women and older generations.
[The development was reported by ET.]