Netflix to reportedly launch cheap mobile-only plan in India

By Xite - July 18, 2019
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The move comes after months of testing a cheaper plan considering the fact that Netflix's current basic subscription costs approximately 500 rupees -- higher than the Amazon and Hotstar.

As more and more users are spending more time streaming and sharing video, streaming service Netflix will launch a cheap mobile-only plan in India later this year. In March, the streaming service was reported to be testing a Rs 250 monthly subscription plan for mobile devices. Indian consumers enjoy the cheapest mobile data globally with 1GB costing Rs 18.5 as compared to the global average of Rs 600 per GB.

‘We believe the Rs 250 plan will be an effective way to introduce a larger number of people in India to Netflix and to further expand our business in a market where Pay-TV ARPU is low," Netflix said in a statement.

With the cheap mobile data plan, Netflix wants to gain more market share from rivals such as Amazon.com Inc's Prime Video and Hotstar. Currently, Netflix has three monthly plans in India, which are priced between Rs 500 and Rs 800.

India now has over 430 million smartphone users and is also the second largest smartphone market in the world after China. Thus, tapping into such a big price sensitive market, will represent an additional opportunity for Netflix to gain a lot more users.

Announcing its second quarter results, Netflix said that its total paid memberships grew by 2.7 million from April to June. The streaming service lost nearly 130,000 subscribers in the US, where it has more market penetration.

The fact that India enjoys cheapest mobile data rates globally, the Rs 250 plan might sound affordable, however, Netflix is still expensive over-the-top (OTT) streaming platform in the country.

According to a report by Media Partners Asia, with 23 per cent Hotstar is the second-biggest video service in India by revenue, followed by YouTube.

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