Netflix Faces Challenges in India’s Streaming Market Despite Lower Prices

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.

Analyst Insights

  • 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 Dominance

  • 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.

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