Netflix India drops prices of old subscriptions as it goes mobile only with new Rs 199 plan

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New Delhi | Published: July 24, 2019 4:37:22 PM

Netflix India has also introduced a new plan for mobile devices that starts at Rs 199

After admitting that its subscription pricing impeded the company’s growth in quarterly results call, Netflix launched its first-ever mobile-only plan tailored for consumers in India on Wednesday. The streaming company is placing big hopes on the plan that costs Rs 199 per month ($2.80) to expand its user base that has seen a slump lately owing to the tier pricing higher than its peers. Strictly catering to consumers who are glued to their mobile devices (including tablets), the Rs 199 plan will offer Standard Definition (SD) content without the cast option. For people who are willing to pay higher amounts, Netflix is lowering the pricing for all its old tiers by Re 1.

Netflix’s Basic Plan, offering SD content, now costs Rs 499, as opposed to Rs 500 earlier. Its Standard Plan, offering HD content, is now priced at Rs 649, Re 1 lower than the Rs 650 pricing previously. And finally, its Premium Plan that offers 4K UHD content, which is believed to be the most popular tier in India, has come down to Rs 799, as opposed to Rs 800 earlier. The change in these plans is highly nominal but is aimed at bringing harmony with the new Rs 199 plan. All the old plans will offer the same features, such as screen mirroring capability. The first month is still free for new members, irrespective of what plan they chose while subscribing.

Netflix is citing some crucial data behind moving ahead with the unprecedented move of introducing a low-cost plan. At an event in New Delhi, Ajay Arora, Director, Product Innovation at Netflix Global, said that Netflix users in India “watch more on their devices than members anywhere in the world. Indian Netflix consumers are also one of the highest content downloaders globally. Netflix content can be downloaded on mobile devices, tablets, and Windows 10 laptops via Netflix app. This is, of course, backed by a report by FICCI-EY released in 2019, which points out that Indians spend 30 per cent of their time using phones – and over 70 per cent of their cellular data – on entertainment.

In its quarterly report released last week, Netflix saw a big dip in international adds while seeing loss of subscribers in the US. Netflix’s share were down by 10 per cent on Wednesday – the day after the earnings were released by the Los Gatos-headquartered company.

Netflix expanded its streaming services to more than 130 countries, including India where online streaming was still catching up, thanks to homegrown players such as Hotstar. India’s uncharted market, unfamiliar with the streaming concept, posed as a big opportunity to foreign players. Amazon, Netflix’s close rival in the US, launched its Prime Video services after piloting Prime membership for some time. However, unlike Netflix, Amazon brings a cheaper deal to the table where its annual plan costs Rs 999 while the monthly plan is priced at Rs 199. Both Amazon Prime and Netflix memberships are also available via partners such as Airtel, Vodafone, Hathway, and more.

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