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Thu, 24 Oct 2019

Northeast Today

Netflix starts testing weekly plans in India

Netflix starts testing weekly plans in India
April 05
18:06 2019

NET Bureau

Netflix has started testing weekly plans with select users in India, nearly a fortnight after trialing a mobile-only subscription in the country. The company has confirmed this test to ET.

The video streaming service’s weekly plans currently range from Rs 125-Rs 200, based on the video quality and the number of concurrent screens. Some users are also seeing a mobile-only weekly plan priced at Rs 65, ET has learnt. Hindustan Times had reported about the mobile-only weekly plan earlier today.

In March, ET was the first to report about the service testing mobile-only subscription plans in the country, priced at Rs 250 per month, half of its existing entry-level tier of Rs 500 per month. To be sure, these tiers are separate from the company’s existing monthly subscription plan that range between Rs 500-800.

“We will be testing different options in select countries where members can watch Netflix on their mobile device for a lower price and subscribe in shorter increments of time. Not everyone will see these options and we may never roll out these specific plans beyond the tests” a Netflix spokesperson.

As of now, none of the video streaming services are offering weekly plans in the country. That said, the monthly plans of these rival services are priced similar to Netflix’s weekly test tiers.

Rival Hotstar’s subscription plans start at Rs 199 per month while Amazon Prime Video, which is part of Amazon’s Prime subscription, is priced at Rs 129 per month. Others like Zee Entertainment’s ZEE5 is available at Rs 99 per month while ALTBalaji, the video streaming service of Reliance-backed Balaji Telefilms is priced at Rs 100 per three months.MX Player, which is owned by Times Internet*, is currently available on a free ad-supported model.

These tests are expected to help Netflix retain its existing premium subscription offering while experimenting with their pricing models to attract a potential set of new subscribers in the country, which has been one of the biggest mobile phone markets for the video streaming service.

In October last year, Netflix chief product officer Greg Peters had stated about their plans to experiment with various pricing models in India and other markets “We are just getting started in India. We will experiment with other pricing models and see how that does in terms of being able to accelerate our growth and get more access. But even on the existing model, we feel like we have a long runway ahead of us in India” Peters had said after Netflix’s October earnings announcement.

Over the past year, the Los Gatos, California-based company has also been increasing its focus on the India market, which has emerged as a lucrative content hub for the streaming giant. It has commissioned around 12 original series and 12 original local language films in the country so far. The company also opened its India office in Mumbai last year and has picked up 1.5 lakh sq ft office space in Mumbai’s Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), ET reported in December last year.

In an earlier interview with ET, Netflix’s Hastings had said that India is a key part of the company’s international subscription growth and will likely account for a huge chunk of its International subscriber base in the future. Netflix ended 2018 with 139.3 million paid subscribers, of which 80.8 million come from International markets.

Source: Indiatimes

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