Netflix Mobile Subscription Plan Launched At Rs 199 Per Month
Netflix Inc. on Wednesday launched its mobile-only subscription plan in India at Rs 199 per month, amid intense competition from Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar and YouTube.
Netflix India, which had been testing the mobile-only plan for several months, has also restructured three existing subscription plans.
“Indians spend 30 percent of their time on entertainment, they are consuming content on the go and in their homes. Members in India watch content on their mobile phones more than anywhere else in the world," said Ajay Arora, director (product innovation) at Netflix, in New Delhi.
More people sign up for Netflix on mobile phones in India than any other country.
"The Netflix mobile plan for Rs 199 a month is made for India. Users will have access to the same unlimited standard definition, ad-free content under this plan," Arora said, adding that this will help the company expand to smaller cities in the country.
The company has tested similar mobile-only plans in few other markets but, as of now, the offering is being announced in India only, Arora said.
In India, Netflix has partners like Hathway, Bharti Airtel Ltd. and ACT Fibernet to take its services to customers.
In a recent investor call, Netflix had said it believes that growth in India is a marathon and that the company is witnessing steady progress in the market.
With the Netflix mobile plan, the U.S.-based company hopes to further expand business in a market where Pay TV average revenue per user is below $5.
The company has over 148 million paid memberships in over 190 countries. It doesn't disclose country-specific subscriber numbers.
Netflix, which is witnessing sluggish growth in its home market, is betting on markets like India to drive growth.
Online content consumption in India has seen massive growth with data plans becoming more affordable. Data rates in India are among the cheapest globally.
While there is a growing trend of consuming these on-demand content on television, a significant number of people watch content on smartphones.
While Netflix plays in the premium content streaming space, it competes with the likes of Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar and even YouTube, along with other local players in the Indian market.
Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar and Zee5 offer subscription plans at Rs 999 annually.
Players like ALTBalaji as well as vernacular platforms like Hoichoi are actively expanding their library with original programming to tap into the Indian market.
Netflix's global paid membership grew by 2.7 million in the second quarter, less than the 5.5 million in the year-ago period and its own forecast of 5 million for the June quarter.
In the third quarter, Netflix said it expects to grow by 7 million paid memberships (0.8 million in the U.S. and 6.2 million internationally) compared to an addition of 6.1 million subscribers in the year-ago period.