Investment towards developing localised content such as Original Series and Original films for the Indian market has driven the platform OTT platform, Netflix to register higher subscriptions and spike in watch hours.
Responded to a query during Netflix’s recent investor call this week about its growth and roadmap for India, Theodore A. Sarandos, the Chief Content Officer at Netflix reiterated the above fact. He added that Netflix recorded $344 Mn net income for the quarter ended March 2019. Its consolidated revenue for the quarter stood at $4.52 Bn, according to the earnings report.
Netflix has revealed that that has 148.8 Mn subscribers across the world from the 139 Mn at the end of December 2018.While it didn’t reveal any figures about its India business, according to MCA filings, Netflix India had a profitable FY18 for the period ending March 2018, with a net profit of INR 20.2 lakh. Netflix India also reported a total revenue of INR 58 Cr and a total expense of INR 57.6 Cr for FY18.
Netflix – Chief product officer Gregory K. Peters during the call said that the streaming giant has entered into a partnership with Airtel so as to explore different go-to-market mechanisms which Indian consumers are familiar with, to make it easy for them to sign up for the service without any payment friction.
“We’re also trying to do a bunch of experimentation with just our plan structure and thinking about pricing and plans and what do we do to test different models that allow us to bring a lower price plan with the right feature set at the right price in a way that the Indian consumer and frankly consumers around the world can understand so we can broaden the accessibility of the service now, right? So all of that’s an ongoing effort, and we think it’s a great match for the broadening of the Indian content catalogue that we have,” Peters added.
With increasing competition in the Indian online video streaming and OTT market, many domestic and foreign players are developing unique content to take on rivals, and add new subscribers.
With the India-focused series like ‘Sacred Games’, ‘among others, Netflix has touched upon a number of new consumers, despite having a marginally higher price bandwidth than its arch-rival Amazon Prime in the country.
Netflix has been heavily investing in developing local content for the users. Most recently, the US-based video streaming had launched 10 new original films across various subjects and genres for its Indian users. Some of the most popular Netflix originals in India are Sacred Games, Love Per Square Foot and Delhi Crime.
In order to increase the rates of subscription, Netflix is also testing a mobile-only subscription service with some users in India. The company is testing this plan at INR 250 per month which is half the price of the existing basic plan of INR 500.
When asked about the mobile-based plans, Peters also said the company is exploring these models to increase the Netflix accessibility.“We’re not positive that’s the right model, but it’s — we’re quite certain that we should do something to find a price tier that’s lower than the existing lowest-priced tier to broaden that accessibility. we think that will be important to add members in India”.
The launch of India centric web series like Sacred Games, Ghoul and Lust Stories, Netflix has redefined the OTT ecosystem with enormous volume of audience signing-in to sample the series, which in turn boosted the subscription ration as well as the engagement duration of audience. One of the notable shifts in audience behavior that is noticed in 2018 was surge in consumption of long duration Videos that was driven by quality content.