As reported by Mint, Applause Entertainment Ltd. which is a subsidiary of Aditya Birla Group, has completed four years under the leadership of Sameer Nair.
In an interview with Mint, he talked about COVID-19 pandemic’s impact as well as the Centre’s move to regulate content and changing audience tastes in the country.
Nair said the company was created with an intention of creating content for OTT streaming in August 2017. “It was set up in the mould of a traditional movie studio, investing in the creation of premium drama series, right away from early writing and development all the way to final production and tape. The idea was to present self-funded, finished products to platforms and license it to them”, he added.
As of now, the venture has produced 25 series including some second second seasons like Scam 1992, Criminal Justice, City of Dreams, Undekhi, Mind the Malhotras and Hostages streaming on major platforms of Disney + Hotstar, Amazon Prime, SonyLIV, Netflix and MX Player.
According to Nair, the company had invested around ₹400 crore in content creation and the number was expected to rise by 8-10 times in the next 5 to 7 years.
The CEO referred to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as “two-fold” where both waves had resulted into a complete stoppage of all productions and the delays in physical production due to the restrictions.
Regarding the new IT Rules, he stated, “I believe it is the job of the creative industry to respect the values and belief system of a society, and also to hold up a mirror to that very same society.” Nair continued, “More than just censorship, a key concern that arises out of unclear guidelines is the business uncertainty that results.”
He also said that the Indian audience was experiencing quality multi-season drama series for the first time.