Netflix, the global streaming giant, is encountering hurdles in expanding its business in India, despite consistently reducing subscription costs in the country, according to a report by analysts at AllianceBernstein.
Subscription Numbers in India
- Netflix has approximately 6.5 million subscribers in India.
- Prime Video boasts 20 million subscribers in the South Asian market.
- Disney+ Hotstar remains the market leader with over 40 million subscribers.
Factors Affecting Netflix’s Growth
- Lack of local content: Only 12% of the titles offered by Netflix in India are local content.
- Prime Video, on the other hand, offers about 60% of its catalog in India in domestic languages.
Netflix’s Pricing Strategy
- Netflix has consistently lowered prices in India while increasing prices in other key markets.
- In August, Netflix struck a deal with Jio Platforms, India’s largest telecom operator, to bundle the streaming service with the carrier’s pay-as-you-go plans.
- The analysts suggest that the key lesson from Netflix’s Indian experience is the need for a higher density of local-language content.
- They also note that in emerging markets like India, value is less about comparison with other streaming services and more about offering lower-cost alternatives to linear TV or Internet video.
- India is considered YouTube’s largest market and a significant growth area for social media platforms.
- Disney’s Hotstar remains dominant in India, primarily due to its cricket streaming offerings, which attract millions of live viewers during matches.
- The platform even offers free streaming of events like the ICC Cricket World Cup to mobile users.
Competition from JioCinema
- JioCinema, a venture by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, is following Disney’s strategy by acquiring rights to high-profile cricket matches, positioning itself as a formidable competitor.
Conclusion: While Netflix continues to face challenges in India’s streaming market, its experience underscores the importance of local content and recognizing the value of lower-cost alternatives in emerging markets.