Netflix is making an aggressive play for new subscribers in India by significantly lowering the cost of its subscription plans in the country.
In a blog post penned by Monika Shergill, Vice President of Content for Netflix India, it was confirmed that the streamer has lowered all four tiers of its pricing plan, crucially including the ‘Basic’ plan, which has been slashed from $6.58 (499 rupees) a month to just $2.62 (199 rupees), a drop of 60%.
The entry-level mobile-only plan is dropping to $1.96 (149 rupees) per month (from $2.62 (199 rupees)). The two more premium bands, which offer higher video quality, have also dropped: the ‘Standard’ sub is now $6.58 (499 rupees), down from $8.55 (649 rupees), and the ‘Premium’ sub is down to $8.55 (649 rupees) from $10.59 (799 rupees).
Reacting to today’s price drop, Datta Dave, partner at Mumbai and Los Angeles-based talent agency and production company Tulsea, highlighted that streaming companies often prioritize subscriber numbers over subscriber revenue at this point.
“We have observed how subscriber numbers drive the psyche of Wall Street investors. Netflix competitors such as Disney+ Hotstar and Amazon entered the market with attractive local pricing. This move, in our view, simply reflects Netflix’s intention to expand its addressable market to drive subscription growth,” he told Deadline.
“The one billion person opportunity in India is very real, but it will take patience and lower ARPUs (average revenue per unit) as Indian consumers become more willing to pay for content as content becomes more ubiquitous for them,” he added, noting that disposable income to pay for content will continue to rise in the coming years.
India is a highly-prized market for streamers because it has higher potential for growth than more mature territories. With a population of 1.4 billion and widely available and affordable high-speed internet, the market is regarded as one of the key battlegrounds in the streaming wars.
Disney+ Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix are all established in the region, competing with local players including Voot, ALTBalajim, SonyLiv, Zee5, and Eros Now.
Both Disney+ Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video have set subscription rate increases recently, meaning the Netflix move comes against the tide.
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