Netflix’s cheaper mobile-only subscription plans to launch in India soon
Netflix looks to tap mobile data users in India with cheaper subscription plans. Here’s when it’s rolling out.
Netflix on Thursday confirmed its plans to launch cheaper mobile-only subscription plans in India. The company has been testing the new plans with select users in India for quite some time. Netflix says the newer mobile-only plans will go live by end of the third quarter of this year.
"The mobile plan will be launched in India in Q3. We will share more details soon," said Netflix in a statement.
The confirmation comes months after Netflix started trials of a weekly mobile-only plan priced at ₹65 in India. The cheapest weekly plan, however, comes with certain limitations. For instance, users can stream Netflix on their mobile phone or tablet but only one screen at one time. While Netflix is offering its full catalogue to mobile-only users, it doesn't support HD or Ultra HD content.
Netflix is also offering ₹125, ₹165 and ₹200 weekly subscription plans to select users. Netflix is also testing a monthly mobile-only plan priced at ₹250. These plans come with full Netflix India catalogue but differ in terms of simultaneous watching compatibility and resolution. The most expensive plan supports Ultra HD and four screens at one time.
The cheaper mobile-only plans are said to be part of Netflix's recent efforts to tap India's growing internet user base. The company is aiming to get about 100 million users from India alone. According to Netflix, the streaming platform added about 2.7 million subscribers in the second quarter, much down from the original projection of 5 million. The company has overall 158 million subscribers. The cheaper plans in India can help Netflix turn things around in the third quarter.
According to the latest techARC survey, Netflix is lagging behind Amazon's Prime Video in India.
"Amazon Prime Video has a slightly better penetration than Netflix. Prime Video penetration is 15% compared to 13% of Netflix. This is a result of Amazon's close relationship with some Smartphone OEMs where Amazon apps like Amazon Shopping and Amazon Prime Video come pre-embedded or pre-loaded in the device. However, the delta does not commensurate the tie-ups Amazon has compared to Netflix which doesn't have any such relationship with a Smartphone OEM," said the survey.
The survey, however, pointed out that OTT penetration in India has improved, especially for entertainment apps. "Over the past 3 years we have seen a lot of enablement both from the Smartphone OEMs as well as operators' sides. This has facilitated growth of OTT Entertainment services as well as the consumption," said Faisal Kawoosa, Founder & Chief Analyst, techARC.
"While 4G has undoubtedly created this category, it has been adequately complimented by the Smartphone industry by innovating to save every micron on the screen for better and full screen viewing backed by powerful battery and stereophonic sound," he added.