Netflix is testing its cheapest ever plan in India — Here’s why it might work

Neflix is testing its cheapest ever subscription plan in India, but its only for mobile usersCaspar Camille Rubin/Unplash

  • Netflix has been seen testing a new ₹250 ‘mobile only’ monthly subscription plan on its video on demand platform in India.
  • Despite the decrease in price, the monthly subscription is still more expensive as compared to the streaming service’s competitors in the Indian market.
  • But it’s a smart move by the company to capture the growing market of Indian users who watch videos on their smartphones.
Netflix is testing its cheapest ever plan in the Indian market with a price tag of ₹250. The ‘mobile only’ subscription is half of Netflix’s basic monthly subscription rate of ₹500 but, it’s still relatively expensive when you compare it to Amazon’s ₹129 plan or Hotstar’s ₹199 — which are cross platform, not just mobile.
But, considering that the difference in pricing is closing in — Netflix may have finally found a way to increase its subscribers in India. An EY report shows that the number of paid video subscribers has doubled over the past year. One of the primary reasons they cited is how pricing of video streaming platforms is inching closer to TV pricing.

Increase in paid subscribers of online video streaming services in India

The increase in the number of paying users resulted in a four fold growth in revenue to ₹13.4 billion in 2018. And, the price tag falls under the ₹255 average that users Indians are prepared to pay, on average, for subscription content, according to a joint report by IMRB and Kantar Media.

That increase in paid subscribers is coupled with growth in the number of people — 325 million as of 2018 — who watch videos on their smartphones. An Omidyar Network report shows that Indians spend 30% of their time consuming media and entertainment when they’re on their mobile devices. The ‘Digital in 2018’ report paints a similar story where they say that watching videos is the second most popular activity with smartphone users in India. That is in part aided by the growth of cheap data services in India.


It makes sense that Netflix would test this new service in India, not because it is a price sensitive market, but because it has one of the highest per capita consumption of online videos in the world.


Data also shows that there might be enough space for each video streaming to hold its own ground. According to EY, most users consume content on multiple video streaming services, and at least two of them are subscription based.

There at least 30 reasonably sized over-the-top (OTT) platforms in India as of today and the industry is still expanding. The next three to four years are critical to determine which ones will come out on top.

See also:
Netflix dominates internet traffic, just not in Asia

India is the first country where YouTube is trying to fact check videos

After Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hotstar plan to go down the path of self-censorship in India
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