Netflix was finally launched in January 2016 in India as a part of its global expansion. World’s largest democracy – India is now world’s fastest growing internet and smartphone market. Before Netflix was available in India, Star group India had launched their online-streaming service Hotstar months before Netflix.
Netflix has failed to strike an instant connection with Indian users. Since the launch of Amazon Prime Video service and the rapid growth of Hotstar online-streaming service have proved to be quite the challenges for US-based Netflix.
It would seem like Netflix have forgotten the gap in the GDP per capita between India and its home market – United States. Netflix’s monthly plans in India and America are almost equivalent, for the basic plan the company charges Rs 500 ($7.50 approx.) The premium plan, which allows four devices per user with access to 4K content, costs Rs 800 ($11.99 approx.) which is identical to what Netflix charges in the U.S.
Basically, Netflix’s biggest problem in India is the pricing. They are unable to reach to the average users in India. In a country where consumption of pirated content is extensive, Netflix needed to get the pricing right before the competition did. Slow internet speeds and data costs is another mountain to climb, India has the slowest internet speed in Asia-Pacific. According to Netflix’s ISP index, Airtel provides the fastest internet in India – 2.25 MBPS. Which isn’t very impressive compared to other countries. Also fact that majority of broadband connections are of BSNL – which has slowest internet speed of 1.09 MBPS as per Netflix January ISP index.
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The US-based company needs to keep its monthly subscription costs low until data costs go down in India, for instance – we yet to see the true potential of Reliance Jio’s in the upcoming months. Unfortunately, Netflix failed to do so and now with the launch of Amazon Prime Video service, losing market. Noticeably, Amazon and Hotstar have kept their prices significantly lower.
Amazon Prime is available at just Rs 499 per year. That is Rs 41.50 a month, significantly lower than Netflix and homemade product – Hotstar, which charges Rs 190 per month. Also, Amazon does not discriminate in the video quality it provides to customers. Netflix has designed three plans which varies in price whereas Amazon does not.
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