01 August 2019
Netflix has officially confirmed that an affordable mobile-only plan will be coming to India. This new plan will be cheaper than existing plans from the streaming service company. It is hoping to attract new customers with the help of a more budget-friendly offering as it faces stiff competition from other Indian streaming market players.
It has not revealed the pricing and exact release date but the plan is set to become available within this quarter itself. Netflix currently offers three plans in India priced between Rs. 500 and Rs. 800. Since the new plan is confirmed to be cheaper, it should be below Rs. 500 level which happens to be the current most affordable plan.
Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, said during an earnings call:
“After several months of testing, we’ve decided to roll out a lower-priced mobile-screen plan in India to complement our existing plans. We believe this plan, which will launch in Q3, 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 (below $5). We will continue to learn more after launch of this plan."
Earlier this year, we reported about Netflix plans priced at Rs. 250 per month and Rs. 65 per week which were under testing with a small set of users. It will be interesting to see if we will these same plans or there will be any different. Another thing that we will get to know is whether the mobile-only plan includes Android tablets/iPads as well or only smartphones.
Netflix's decision to come up with an affordable plan makes perfect sense as competitors' pricing is way cheaper. Amazon's Prime Video comes bundled with Prime membership for Rs. 129 per month or Rs. 999 per year. Hotstar has two types of memberships named Hotstar VIP and Hotstar Premium costing Rs. 365 per year and Rs. 199 per month/Rs. 999 per year respectively. Similarly, all other local players are priced quite lower than what Netflix charges.