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Netflix focussing on pricing, partnerships to win India market

For Netflix, India is also an important bet given that the company is witnessing sluggish growth in its home market.

Published: 24th July 2019 09:53 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th July 2019 09:53 PM   |  A+A-

Netflix

For representational purposes (Express Illustrations | Tapas Ranjan)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: US-based Netflix is focussing on pricing and forming alliances to strengthen its foothold in the Indian market that is among the largest consumers of data globally.

A premium player, Netflix had started its operations in India in 2016 and has since then struck a number of partnerships in India, including Bharti Airtel, ACT Fibernet and Hathway.

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"Every bit of friction between our members and content, we want to eliminate. So, whether it is increasing payment methods, different price plans, working with different partners, we will get there.

Where we are is a far cry from where we want to be, and we continue to be on that journey," Netflix Director of Partner Engagement Nigel Baptiste told PTI.

He added that the company is working with a variety of partners across the ecosystem to optimise user experience across multiple screens (mobile, tablet, laptops and TV).

"Our goal is to get Netflix on as many devices as we can. Today, Netflix is present on 1,700-plus device models," he said adding that the company is also investing heavily on originals and licensing content in India across genres and languages.

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The company has over 151 million paid memberships in more than 190 countries. It does not disclose country-specific subscriber numbers.

For Netflix, India is also an important bet given that the company is witnessing sluggish growth in its home market.

Netflix on Wednesday rolled out an India-first mobile-only plan that will allow users access to the content on its platform for a monthly fee of Rs 199.

This will help the company compete head-on with rivals Amazon Prime Video and Hotstar that offer their services for Rs 129 and Rs 299 a month, respectively.

"The mobile plan for Rs 199 a month is made for India. Users will have access to the same unlimited standard definition (SD), ad-free content under this plan," he said.

The video content platform, which had been testing the mobile-only plan for several months in India at Rs 250 per month, has also restructured its three existing plans.

Previously, it offered three pricing slabs of Rs 500, Rs 600 and Rs 800 that have now been restructured to Rs 499, Rs 649 and Rs 799, respectively.

There is a growing trend of consuming on-demand content services on television, a significant number of people watch content on smartphones.

Baptiste cited insights around Netflix usage in India.

"Our members in India watch more on their mobile phones than members anywhere else in the world. Also, Netflix members in India are among the highest downloaders of content globally," he said.

Also, the number of films watched a month per member in India has grown 50 per cent since January 2018.

According to a FICCI-EY 2019 report, Indians spend 30 per cent of their phone time and over 70 per cent of their mobile data on entertainment.

Online content consumption in India has seen massive growth with data plans becoming more affordable. Data rates in India are among the cheapest globally.

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