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To grow its user base, Netflix tests mobile-only subscriptions plan in India


To compete with its rivals cheaper offerings and expand its user base in India, US-based streaming giant Netflix is testing a low-cost mobile-only subscription plan with select users.

The new plan would cost half, Rs 250, of its current basic subscription plan per month.

It will be separate from the company’s existing plans and allow the user to watch standard definition content on a single mobile.

At present, Netflix runs three plans in India.

First is the basic plan for which the user needs to pay Rs 500 every month. Second, a standard plan which costs Rs 650/per month, and lastly there’s a Premium plan for which the user will need to pay Rs 800/month.

In India, Netflix still remains elite in terms of monthly offering to its users.

Among its rivals, Star-owned Hotstar, which claimed to have a larger market share in streaming services, subscription plans start at Rs 199. Whereas Amazon offers similar services at Rs 129 every month.

Other players in segment such as Zee-owned ZEE5 and ALT Balaji streaming services also have cheaper plans starting at around Rs 100.

According to Netflix spokesperson quoted by ET report, the company will be testing different options in select countries where members can watch Netflix on their mobile device for a lower price and subscribe in shorter increments of time.

This is not a first such trial by US streaming giant. Last year in November, it had tested low-cost streaming services in Malaysia.

Netflix chief product officer Greg Peters last year had said that the streaming firm would continue to experiments with pricing models.

We will see how that does in terms of being able to accelerate our growth and get more access, Peters had said.

The company aims to add around 100 million subscribers from India alone.

Market analysts have earlier argued about its loss due to its rigid pricing. Netflix has also realised that to gain the next set of users and boost sales, it has to experiment with its prices. It has about 80 million of its subscribers out of 139 million coming from international markets.

India is a price sensitive market. Due to its price being on a higher side, it misses a large chunk of new users. With the lower-priced mobile-only subscription, it will aim to reach out to those new users in India.

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