Net­flix’s next 100 mil­lion sub­scribers to come from In­dia

The Northlines - - BUSINESS -

Net­flix is bet­ting big on In­dia for its global ex­pan­sion. The com­pany aims to add about 100 mil­lion sub­scribers from In­dia alone as it aims to tap the Asian mar­ket with orig­i­nal con­tent and af­ford­able sub­scrip­tion rates. Net­flix has over 50 mil­lion users in the Us? and roughly 137 mil­lion sub­scribers glob­ally.

“If you think about the op­por­tu­nity, there’s about 450 mil­lion in­ter­net users in In­dia and about half of them are watch­ing video on Youtube and ser­vices like that, which makes for a very in­ter­est­ing, ad­dress­able mar­ket,” said Net­flix’s chief con­tent of­fi­cer Ted Saran­dos told CNBC on Thurs­day.

The com­pany, how­ever, faces a strong com­pe­ti­tion from the likes of Ama­zon which has also big plans for In­dia. Ama­zon al­ready of­fers Prime Video and Prime Mu­sic ser­vices along with a wide range of Alexa-pow­ered Echo de­vices. The hard­ware cat­a­logue in­cludes Fire TV stick that sup­ports pop­u­lar stream­ing ap­pli­ca­tions like Sony Liv and even Net­flix. Net­flix is also com­pet­ing with the lo­cal play­ers like Hot­star and Alt­bal­aji which have al­ready gained pop­u­lar­ity in the bud­ding on­line stream­ing space. The suc­cess of these play­ers in­clud­ing Ama­zon is mainly driven by af­ford­able sub­scrip­tion plans and cross-plat­form li­cens­ing deals.

This has forced Net­flix to con­tem­plate new pric­ing mod­els for In­dia.

Saran­dos said that Net­flix is also fo­cus­ing on bring­ing in more orig­i­nal con­tent. The com­pany on Thurs­day an­nounced plans to launch 17 more orig­i­nal pro­duc­tions in Asia in­clud­ing Thai and Chi­nese lan­guage shows. ALSO? READ:? AT half a mil­lion sub­scribers,

Net­flix still a ‘premium’ ser­vice in In­dia Hot­star led the In­dian OTT video con­tent mar­ket in 2017 (Coun­ter­point) Net­flix’s Chief Prod­uct Of­fi­cer Gre­gory Peters last month had said that com­pany was plan­ning to test new sub­scrip­tion mod­els for In­dia and other new mar­kets. “We’ll ex­per­i­ment with other pric­ing mod­els not only for In­dia, but around the world that al­low us to sort of broaden ac­cess by pro­vid­ing a pric­ing tier that sits below our cur­rent low­est tier,” he had said. In­ter­est­ingly enough, Net­flix is giv­ing more pri­or­ity to In­dia than

China where it has en­tered into a li­cens­ing deal with iqiyi, a video stream­ing sub­sidiary of Baidu. Net­flix, how­ever, has no im­me­di­ate plans for launch­ing op­er­a­tions in­de­pen­dently in China. “China’s tough for a Western me­dia com­pany to op­er­ate in and we’ve not been very ac­tive in the mar­ket at all — with the ex­cep­tion of li­cens­ing some of our shows into the mar­ket. And that’s go­ing to be our strat­egy for a lit­tle while,” Saran­dos said.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent Price­wa­ter­house­c­oop­ers re­port, rev­enue from OTT plat­forms Youtube, Net­flix and oth­ers had crossed Rs 20 bil­lion in 2017. In the next cou­ple of years, the rev­enues are ex­pected to more than dou­ble with In­dia be­ing one of the top 10 mar­kets for OTT ser­vices. ALSO? READ: Net­flix and Ama­zon leave lit­tle room for stream­ing video late­com­ers

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