As Netflix deals with the issue of user churn in the US, the firm appears to be looking further afield for the future.
Further in this instance is India.
As part of its earnings call, Netflix revealed that it would be rolling out a mobile-screen plan in India later this year. The plan will be cheaper than the existing tiers with the key driver being that it’s mobile-only.
India is a massive mobile market. A joint study conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India and PwC this year, posited that by 2022 the number of smartphone users in the country would double from 468 million in 2017 to 859 million.
It’s clear then that if you enter the Indian market through a mobile platform, you’re more likely to succeed.
And so that’s what Netflix is doing. The mobile plan will launch in the third quarter of this year and the firm believes it will serve as a way to attract more customers to Netflix.
“We’ve been seeing nice steady increases in engagement with our Indian viewers that we think we can keep building on. Growth in that country is a marathon so we’re in it for the long haul and we’re seeing nice steady progress,” chief content officer at Netflix, Ted Sarandos said during an earnings interview.
While India certainly is a large market, Netflix understands that it won’t have an easy time there. During its earnings call, chief product officer Greg Peters noted the fact that pay TV in India can be rather cheap.
“It’s going to be a lower price point,” said Peters. “In a market where the typical pay TV package is under $5, we need to have a lower price offering to improve the accessibility but also one that compliments the existing tiering structure.”
Of course the main driver here is increasing Netflix’s bottom line which isn’t a bad thing but it’s clear that Netflix is preparing for the upcoming streaming wars.
With Disney, NBC, HBO and more moving into the space, Netflix is no longer the king of the crop it once was and its catalogue is slowly being reclaimed by the owners.
With all of that having been said, being affordable could be the move Netflix needs to make. If the firm is indeed throwing its weight behind localised original content as much as it says it is, perhaps that’s the edge it needs.
The next year is going to be incredibly interesting when it comes to streaming.