The rise and rise of Ullu

On the back of steamy content, this under-the-radar video streaming app is emblematic of the changing face of online programming.

The room was packed.

At a top-notch hotel in an upmarket Mumbai locality, people were gathered to celebrate a successful year in the business. The ceremony wasn’t too fancy, just a small gathering of writers, producers, actors, directors, musicians and corporate executives—all waiting for someone to take the stage. Many in the crowd had been nominated for creating some outstanding films that year. The room was brimming with anticipation.

The organizer of the event was a Delhi-based video streaming platform called Ullu and some of the movie titles that were the highlights of the evening included “Charmsukh” (which translates to climax or orgasm), “Dance Bar”,  “#MeToo Wolf of Bollywood” and “Mona Home Delivery”.

You’ve likely never heard of Ullu or any of its productions.

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Cover image by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash.

Update: And earlier version of this story translated the movie title "CharmSukh" as "climax or orgasm" instead of "pleasure of the skin". The Hindi term for "orgasm" is "charamsukh", which the title is a play on.

The Morning Context has raised money from a clutch of investors, entirely in their personal capacity. It is quite likely that some of them may be directly or indirectly involved in a competing line of business similar to the companies we write about. Our full list of investors is here.


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