[Update 2: Launched in India for ₹199 ($2.9) per month] Netflix is testing a mobile-only plan in India that costs ₹250 per month
Most technology companies now view India as either a key market, or an upcoming market which needs greater attention because of its potential. As the second most populous country in the world, after China, and as a developing nation, India is seeing a very large portion of its population come online and personally experience technology for the first time. This makes it a very lucrative market for entertainment services and others, as can be seen from the entry of Spotify and YouTube Music in the country. Now, Netflix is testing out a cheaper, mobile-only subscription plan for its video streaming service in India.
As reported by NDTV Gadgets, Netflix is currently testing out a mobile-only subscription plan in India that costs ₹250 ($3.7) per month. This is significantly lesser than its existing plans in the country. This plan is mobile-only, and reportedly does not provide HD or UHD quality streaming, though we are unsure if the company would just be providing 480p quality. It might be an error in reporting and interpretation, as blocking out FHD and UHD and allowing HD makes sense on a cheap plan, but blocking out UHD and HD (with no mentions of FHD) leaves behind an unexplained gap and a substantial drop in quality.
“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. Not everyone will see these options and we may never roll out these specific plans beyond the tests.”
Netflix India’s current plans are on the more expensive side, considering the average income levels in the country. Their basic plans start off at ₹500/month, which is much more than the competition (hovering around ₹200/month). It is thus no surprise that Netflix ends up behind the likes of Hotstar, JioTV, JioCinema, SonyLiv, Voot and Airtel TV. Maybe these cheaper plans will help make the service more consumable.
Source: NDTV Gadgets
Update 1: Officially confirmed
Netflix has officially confirmed that a mobile-only plan will be coming to India. In a letter to investors, Netflix said that the mobile-only plan “will be an effective way to introduce a larger number of people in India to Netflix and to further expand our business in a market where Pay TV ARPU (average revenue per user) is low (below $5)”. The plan is set to launch in India during the third quarter, and will be priced lower than the company’s existing subscriptions. For other regions, Netflix is only saying that it will “continue to learn more after launch of this plan”, but we do hope that it gets rolled out across markets. However, we do not expect the streaming quality to be higher than 480p on the basic plan.
Update 2: Netflix’s Mobile-only plan launched in India for ₹199 ($2.9) per month
Netflix has finally launched its mobile-only plan in India. While the testing phase of the plan priced it at ₹250 ($3.6) per month, the launch price has been lowered to ₹199 ($2.9) per month. This mobile-only plan is, obviously, restricted to viewing on a mobile device, but includes tablets within its ambit. However, this is a single device plan. It also restricts the content quality to 480p Standard Definition. Company executives at the launch event mentioned that there are no plans to expand a similar plan to other markets at this stage.