Media consumption habits of diaspora populations have evolved significantly over the past decade with the arrival of digital streaming platforms. Web-based streaming options for popular Hindi films are very diverse, with multiple content providers offering large libraries of Indian films to their consumers outside India. This study distinguishes between two different models of diasporic media consumption aided by digital technology. First, there are major US-based streaming services, whose global expansion necessitates the continuous growth of content in languages such as Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu. Second, this analysis identifies television networks primarily operating in India, which have launched online streaming platforms in order to make their catalogues available for customers outside India. Which infrastructural advances or changes in industry practices have been instrumental in making this development feasible? How are the recent trends in transnational distribution, exhibition, and reception spheres reflected in popular Hindi films? In order to explore these questions, this study identifies various curatorial strategies (an emphasis on exclusive original content, multi-episodic works, films in regional Indian languages) and analyzes two case studies that have attracted a sizable diasporic viewership through streaming platforms (Kapoor and Sons by Shakun Batra from 2016 and Lust Stories, a 2018 Netflix anthology film by four directors). These films are discussed particularly in terms of their groundbreaking portrayals of non-normative sexuality, diaspora experience, and socioeconomic structures.


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pp. 130-153
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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