DNA Explainer: How app-based pornography is produced and published in India – DNA India


The shocking arrest of businessman Raj Kundra has thrown limelight on pornographic content that is readily available on online apps in India today.

Representative image/ Unsplash

Written By

Edited By

Chitresh Sehgal


DNA webdesk

Updated: Jul 20, 2021, 05:19 PM IST

Husband of actress and businesswoman Shilpa Shetty, Raj Kundra has been named as a “key conspirator” by the Crime Branch of Mumbai Police in a case related to the making pornographic content and publishing it through some apps.

While the story around Kundra’s arrest develops, the police is investigating two different facets of the industry – the production of pornographic content and its publishing and broadcasting to audience through apps.

Pornography is illegal in India but that hasn’t stopped a budding app-based erotica industry to come up in the country. There are several apps which create films and TV shows showing explicit scenes, ranging from soft porn with skin show to full frontal nudity. Their audience also comes from Tier-1 but majorly from Tier-2 and 3 cities. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen their viewership boom as lockdowns restricted people inside their homes and kept them glued to smartphones.

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How the shows are produced?

As per the police, such shows or films are shot in rented bungalows on the outskirts of Mumbai. Shot with low quality production infrastructure compared to premium content, they usually have small teams of half a dozen people or so who double up as directors, cameramen, script writers and even web app developers.

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While most actors and actresses are unknown faces, some shows have even featured noted TV names.

As per Mumbai police, some of these actresses are falsely lured into making pornographic content after initially being promised roles in web series.

How it is published and monetized?

The movies are then published via mobile apps which offer subscription models like any other OTT platform. Some of these apps use servers outside India to broadcast their content. This is where Kundra has come under the scanner.

He is allegedly linked to one UK-based production house called Kenrin Production House that publishes such films and shows to an app called HotShots. Some other apps in India found publishing such soft porn and erotic content are Ullu, Kooku, Fliz Movies and Gupchup. AltBalaji platform, owned by Ekta Kapoor, is also sometimes accused of showcasing similar content in some of its shows.

To know more on Kundra’s involvement and the business of making money through porn films, read here.