Netflix just announced a ₹199 ‘mobile only’ monthly plan for users in India in a bid to woo more people onto its video streaming platform.
It’s truly a ‘mobile only’ plan without support for HD or 720p streaming. And, there’s no loophole to stream Netflix on the TV using Chromecast.
The video on demand (VoD) service may be lauded for its original programming in India — like Sacred Games and Delhi Crime — but itsrelatively high prices have been an obstacle in the price sensitive Indian market.
|Subscription||Netflix||Hotstar||ZEE5||Amazon Prime Video|
|Monthly||₹500-₹800 (across plans)||₹299||₹99||₹129|
|Yearly||₹6,000-₹9,600 (no annual plan discount)||₹999||₹999||₹999|
Amazon Prime’s monthly subscription rates start at ₹129 and Hostar’s monthly plan is ₹299.
Netflix’s monthly subscriptions, on the other hand, start at ₹500 where only one user can watch on one screen at one time — a restriction that doesn’t apply to other streaming platforms in India. The same restriction apply to the new ₹199 subscription as well.
And, while the ‘mobile only’ option is the cheapest subscription that Netflix has ever launched, it’s still not the cheapest option on the market.
Doubling down in India
India has the highest per capita consumption of videos in the world, according to Limelight Networks. So, it only makes sense that Netflix wants a piece of that pie — a bigger piece than its been able to get so far.
The company has been testing its ‘mobile only’ subscriptions in the country since March with a ₹250 plan for users as well as in other Asian markets, like Malaysia.
“We believe this plan will be an effective way to introduce a large number of people to Netflix and to further expand our business in a market were Pay TV ARPU (average return per user) is low,” Netflix stated earlier this week.
The number of paid subscribers in India have doubled over the past year because the price of video streaming is increasingly inching closer to TV subscriptions, according to a report by Ernst & Young.
The ARPU may be low, but overall revenue has growth four times between 2017 to 2018, hitting ₹13.4 billion.
The increase in paying customers can also be attributed to the growth in the number of users online. There is a surge in first time smartphone users in India as data gets cheaper and more budget smartphones come into the market.
Netflix is looking to take on its competition but it might not be so easy with over 30 reasonably sized video streaming services fighting it out over Indian users.