Netflix chief Reed Hastings defends pricing in India amid affordability discussion

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Updated: February 23, 2018 9:42 PM

Netflix chief Reed Hastings was in India for the Global Business Summit. On being asked if Netflix was too pricey in India, he said that he wants to build a great content so that people compare them to the price of movie tickets and DVDs and not cable TV.

Netflix chief Reed Hastings defends pricing in India amid affordability discussion. (Image: Reuters)

Netflix chief Reed Hastings was in India for the Global Business Summit. On being asked if Netflix was too pricey in India, he said that he wants to build a great content so that people compare them to the price of movie tickets and DVDs and not cable TV.

While comparing Netflix’s content and business model with Cable TV, he said, that unlike most countries in the world, cable TV in India is mostly ad-supported with a negligible access fee; it’s basically free. “Around the world, serialized TV is a bigger industry than films, but it hasn’t been able to grow. By bringing in a premium element to those shows, we hope to bring that growth to shows in India,” he said at the ET Global Business Summit.

Reed Hastings expressed confidence that the live-streaming content platform is entertaining people in India and that the price level, which is being considered high, it can achieve growth. Netflix is currently planning three original series in India. “Not just focusing on Hollywood; trying to grow in shows globally,” he said.

He said that the aim of Netflix is to become a “spectacular entertainment platform” and not news or sports. He also opined, he that globalised content can help avoid wars. According to Reed Hastings, the more people see commonality with other countries, the more there is a sense of community building and there will be peace.

Netflix is quite popular in India and according to a survey Indians watched movies and shows on Netflix faster than any other country in the world. Netflix currently placed at a higher price than its other competitors in India — Hotstar and Amazon Prime Videos.

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