Rs 250 for a month possible? Sure, says Netflix, which is testing low-cost subscription plan for mobile users in India
Amazon Prime Video, along with a slew of home-grown OTT players like Hotstar, ALTBalaji, ZEE5, Voot, etc, are currently enjoying a king’s share in India’s video-streaming market, but the tables could turn soon. If reports are to be believed, Netflix is testing out an affordable mobile-only subscription plan in India, starting as low as Rs 250 a month.
This comes after Hotstar announced a new subscription plan starting at Rs 365 per year, called Hotstar VIP, just ahead of the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL). With this, Hotstar subscribers with the All Annual Sports plan will be upgraded to the new VIP plan without any additional charge.
Netflix's latest mobile-only plan, on the other hand, is almost half the amount of the subscription that the US-based video streaming major currently offers in India, with subscription plans ranging between Rs 500 and Rs 800.
With its mobile-only plan, Netflix will allow users to access standard definition (SD) video content on a single screen (mobile or tablet) at a time, media reports claimed. However, this will remain separate from the current subscription plans that Netflix offers to its almost five million subscribers in India.
“We are always looking for ways to make Netflix more enjoyable and accessible. We will be testing different options in select countries where members can, for example, watch Netflix on their mobile device for a lower price and subscribe in shorter increments of time,” the company said in a statement, per reports.
In the testing phase at the moment, the low-cost plan is meant for select mobile users only, and Netflix will be taking a further call on rolling it out to the larger market in the country, which also happens to be one of the fastest-growing mobile app markets in the world. After China, India recorded the maximum numbers in terms of absolute downloads, App Annie’s State of Mobile 2019 report stated. In fact, an average Indian user is said to be using at least 35 apps on a monthly basis, and spending most on video-streaming, with Netflix being the most-downloaded paid app.
Despite all the positive signs of growth, Netflix has struggled to add new subscribers in the country, mostly because of its high-cost plans targeting the premium users in the country. As of now, compared to Netflix’s Rs 500/month plan, other competitors in the market offer plans starting Rs 99 – Hotstar for Rs 199/month, Amazon Prime Video for Rs 129/month, and ZEE5 at Rs 99/month, and ALT Balaji at Rs 100 per three months.