At a conference in New Delhi early last year, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings was confronted with a question that his firm has been asked many times over the years. Would he consider lowering the subscription cost in India?
It’s a tactic that most Silicon Valley firms have adapted to in the country over the years. Uber goes aren’t as pricey in India as the latter are elsewhere. Spotify and Apple Music cost less than$ 2 per month to consumers in the country. YouTube Premium as well as dues to U.S. bulletin stores such as WSJ and New York Times are also priced significantly more compared to the prices they charge in their home turf.
Hastings had also come prepared: He has recognised that the amusement viewing industry in India is very different from other parts of the world. To be sure, much of the pay-TV in India is supported by ads and the access fee remains too low ($ 5 ). But that was not going to change how Netflix is intended to go, he said.
“We want to be sensitive to huge narrations and to fund those great narratives by investing in regional material, ” he said. “So yes, our programme is to build up the regional material — and of course we have got the global material — and try to uplevel the industry, ” he said, name movie-goers who devote about Rs 500 ($ 7.25) or more on tickets each month as Netflix’s potential customers.
Less than a year and a half later, Netflix has had a change of heart. The busines today rolled out a lower-priced subscription plan in India, a first for the company . The monthly strategy, which limits usage of the service to mobile manoeuvres simply, is priced at Rs 199 ($ 2.8) — a third of the least expensive plan in the U.S.
At a news conference in New Delhi today, Netflix managers said that the lower-priced subscription tier is aimed at expanding the reach of its service in the country.” We want to really broaden the audience for Netflix, want to make it more accessible, and we knew just how mobile-centric India has been ,” said Ajay Arora, Director of Product Innovation at Netflix.
The move comes at a time when Netflix has raised its subscription prices in the U.S. by up to 18% and in the UK by up to 20%.
Netflix’s strategy shift in India summarizes a bigger challenge that Silicon Valley fellowships have been facing in the country for years. If you want to succeed in the country, either offset most of your revenue from ads, or heavily subsidize your costs.
But whether conclusion useds in India is a success is also debatable.