Lionsgate Play SVOD Service Launches First Original Indian Production

The Lionsgate-owned streaming platform Starz, which last year launched a low-cost, branded Lionsgate Play mobile app in India, is partnering with Lionsgate Television on its first Indian original series, a remake of the Golden Globe-nominated series “Casual.”

The series will kick off Lionsgate Play’s first original slate of drama, comedy, crime and action series for the Indian and South Asian markets, building on the success of such award-winning series as “Normal People” (nominated for two Golden Globes), “The Goes Wrong Show” and “Love Life.”

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Lionsgate Play is part of a Hollywood trend targeting India’s mobile device-centric consumer with streaming entertainment. The $1.37 monthly/$9.65 annual app is available to download across a broad array of platforms and devices, including the Google Play store, the Apple app store and Amazon Fire TV Stick. The market is projected to reach 200 million SVOD subscribers by 2025, according to Futuresource Consulting.

“Lionsgate Play continues to gain momentum in India, proving to be a strong driver of Starz’s international growth,” Jeffrey Hirsch, Starz CEO said in a statement.

The series will be directed by Kunal Kohli, the Bollywood film director known for films such as Hum Tum and Fanaa, and will star Lara Dutta and Prateik Babbar. The former Miss Universe 2000, Dutta has starred in the films Housefull and Don 2, among others. Babbar starred in Jaane Tu, Mumbai Diaries and numerous other films and premium series.

Since Starz began its international rollout in 2018, the StarzPlay global subscription platform is now available in 56 countries, including its StarzPlay Arabia joint venture.

“Our ability to kick off the Lionsgate Play original slate with the remake of a great intellectual property, shows what we can achieve through the continued collaboration of our Starz, Lionsgate Television and Lionsgate India businesses,” said Lionsgate Television Group Chairman Kevin Beggs.

Lionsgate Play Streaming Service Heading to Indonesia

Starz Jan. 21 announced plans to expand into Indonesia through branded subscription streaming video service Lionsgate Play. The service is a partnership launched last month between Lionsgate India and Starz — the latter also co-owning streaming service StarzPlay Arabia.

Guntur Siboro has been hired as GM, with Gene Tamesis named VP of business development and partnerships. The two, who previously worked for now shuttered HOOQ Digital, report to Rohit Jain, managing director South Asia and networks — emerging markets Asia at Lionsgate.

With a population of 260 million, Indonesia will become the newest territory added to the Starz global footprint, which currently includes 55 countries. Lionsgate Play has distribution deals with Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel, Jio FTTH, Apple TV+ and Amazon Firestick. Lionsgate Play also develops and produces a slate of premium Indian originals.

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“Indonesia is one of the fastest growing economies with a very young and globally connected population, and it has experienced huge growth in its digital economy owing to the surge of high speed Internet,” Jain said in a statement, adding that Lionsgate Play content will also be available with Bahasa subtitles.

Starz first launched globally in 2018 with its Starzplay SVOD now available in 55 countries throughout Europe, Latin America, Canada, Japan, India, the Middle East and North Africa.

Lionsgate Play SVOD Service Bows in India

Starz has launched the direct-to-consumer OTT app Lionsgate Play in India, making premium Hollywood content available in multiple Indian languages, the company announced.

The service is priced at INR 699 for a year or INR 99 per month. In India, the app will be available to download across platforms and devices including the Google Play store, Apple app store and Amazon firestick.

New content available at launch includes the Anna Kendrick starrer “Love Life,” a fresh take on a romantic comedy anthology series; “No Man’s Land,” a Syrian civil war series; and “The Goes Wrong Show,” a comedy series with each episode having a different theme, including a period romance, spy thriller, a Deep South melodrama and a Christmas fable.

Movies offerings include the Jennifer Lopez starrer Hustlers, Gerald Butler’s action thriller Angel Has Fallen, the fantasy thriller Hellboy, and the action comedy The Gentlemen, starring Matthew McConaughey, Colin Farrell and Hugh Grant.

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Starz first launched internationally with its Starzplay international premium streaming platform in 2018. This month it will expand its global footprint into 55 countries throughout Europe, Latin America, Canada, Japan and India.

“India has always been a key market for us,” Jeffrey A. Hirsch, president and CEO of Starz, said in a statement. “The large and diverse population, increased data usage in urban and rural markets, and adoption of OTT across all demographics created an exciting opportunity for us to launch Lionsgate Play. We’re confident that our unique, exclusive and exceptionally curated content will generate a great response from Indian audiences.”

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“We will also be launching Indian originals in the coming months, featuring untold edgy urban stories from some of the best creative minds in the Indian film industry,” Rohit Jain, managing director of Lionsgate South Asia, said in a statement. “And we will continue our Lionsgate Play journey by adding to our deep roster of premium content through partnerships with exciting millennial stars like Kriti Sanon, Tiger Shroff and Sanjana Sanghi increasing the breadth and scope of entertainment for our subscribers.”

Lionsgate Launches Streaming Video Service in India

Lionsgate Dec. 18 announced a partnership with Airtel, India’s largest telecommunications company, to distribute Lionsgate Play to customers in India.

The partnership will give Airtel customers access to a Lionsgate feature film content, which will be available on Airtel Xstream app and web platforms. Airtel Xstream app has a catalog of more than 10,000 movies and shows along with 400 TV channels.

The content will be available in multiple Indian languages and spread across the horror, comedy, drama, action, thriller, documentary and other genres.

Lionsgate Play’s initial offering includes the “Hunger Games” and “Twilight Saga” franchises, Oscar winner La La Land, and Wonder among its slate of box office successes.

In addition, Airtel subs will have access to recent movies, American Assassin, Robin Hood, The Spy Who Dumped Me, A Simple Favor, Saban’s Power Rangers as well as library titles such as Divergent, Now You See Me 2, Gods of Egypt, Letters To Juliet and Reservoir Dogs.

“Our mission is to make Airtel Xstream the most loved digital entertainment platform in India and enable best-in-class experience across a range of connected devices and applications,” Adarsh Nair, chief product officer, Bharti Airtel, said in a statement.

Nair said the deal underscores the telecom’s strategy to forge long-term strategic partnerships with the top content producers from around the world.

Rohit Jain, managing director Lionsgate Play South Asia, said telcos play a huge role in increasing the availability of premium content on digital platforms.

“This is another major step forward in bringing an exciting and unique content experience to our Indian audience,” Jain said.

Lionsgate, Sony Pictures Partner for OTT Video in India

Lionsgate India and Sony Pictures Network are partnering to kick off next week’s Diwali Festival with the launch of Lionsgate Play on the SonyLIV streaming video platform.

SonyLIV — a Mumbai-based video-on-demand service owned by Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt. Ltd. — claims to be one of the largest local broadcast-owned OTT video platforms in India in terms of viewership and consumption. It is renowned for TV series “Indian Idol” and “Kaun Banega Crorepati” (“Who Wants to Be A Millionaire”), among others and also licenses the rights to sports programming in the territory. Additionally, SonyLIV is home to fitness, original Web series and movies.

The Lionsgate Play app will launch with more than 500 hours of Starz and Lionsgate original series, including PowerVidaSweetbitterThe White QueenThe White Princess and the eagerly-anticipated The Spanish Princess, along with popular Lionsgate library titles such as CrashManhattanWildfireAre We There Yet? and Chasing Life.

The offering will be bundled within SonyLIV’s current slate of programming, significantly enhancing their premium English-language offering to customers.  Powered by a combination of Starz original programming, premium Lionsgate content and a deep library, the Lionsgate Play launch is the latest step in the continued expansion of Lionsgate and Starz platforms around the world.

Starz has launched channels in the UK, Germany, Canada, Italy, France and Spain and is part of the leading subscription video on demand (SVOD) service in the Middle East and North Africa.  Lionsgate has recently announced major content licensing agreements in Australia and Latin America.

“Our collaboration is the latest milestone in elevating our brand in India, and we’re delighted to kick off our partnership with a robust portfolio of Lionsgate and Starz programming,” Rohit Jain, managing director at Lionsgate India, said in a statement.

Sony India has a long history of distributing English-language content in the region, according to Jain.

“Consumption of English-language content is still at its early stages in this market and, with this collaboration, we’re well positioned to fulfill that latent demand,” he said.