On-demand Internet streaming media company Netflix.inc is all set to launch its service in India next week. Industry insiders say the launch will take place at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) 2016 in Las Vegas.
Netflix is currently the biggest video streaming website in the world, boasting of nearly 62 million users spread across 50 countries. It’s taken a long time to make its way to India, where rampant piracy and slow data speeds had made the country unfavorable for expansion. However, the rise in cheap smartphones and video traffic seems to have turned things around.
As per a Cisco VNI report, Indians saw 41 billion minutes or 77090 years worth of video content on a monthly basis in 2014. To put that in perspective, the figure stood at 31 billion in 2013. Furthermore, 2014 had witnessed 38% of all internet traffic getting devoted to videos. The number is expected to mushroom to 74% by 2019.
Netflix is rumored to be partnering with a domestic network provider for its India launch according to the Hindu Business Line. 4G connectivity is probably the main push behind this, as the high speeds offered by LTE bands make it possible to smoothly watch HD content anywhere. Pricing will probably play a big part in its success here.
US consumers pay $8.99 (approx Rs 600) on a monthly basis to get access to unlimited movies and TV shows. Netflix will probably have to lower its subscription cost in India, given the widespread availability of streaming platforms in the nation like YouTube, Bigflix, Airtel Wynk Movies and Eros Now. Hooq, another international player, is currently offering its services at Rs 199 per month.
Netlix has invested over $1 billion into its international expansion plans. It had previously announced its intention to begin offering its platform in South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong in 2016.