“Our members in India watch more on their mobiles than members anywhere else in the world – and they love to download our shows and films,” said Ajay Arora, Netflix’s director for product innovation.
“We believe this new plan will make Netflix even more accessible and better suit people who like to watch on their smartphones and tablets—both on the go and at home,” he added in remarks reported by The Next Web.
Priced at just Rs 199 ($2.88) a month, the new subscription level is the cheapest of four Netflix offers in India and is aimed at attracting users in lower tier towns, who are perceived to be less demanding as regards picture quality and the number of screens required.
They will be able to stream content at Standard Definition (SD) on only one (mobile) screen; downloads are possible, but users cannot cast or mirror content.
The new subscription tier – along with investment in local content – is significant for Netflix as it seeks to attract new users in fast-growing markets.
Speaking to Axios, Michael Pachter, a research analyst at Wedbush Securities, noted that Netflix’s US user base is nearing saturation and its overseas subscribers are focused in a few bigger, markets that are unlikely grow much more.
“Netflix ‘lite’ is a land grab, pure and simple,” he said. “I cannot conceive that they will be profitable at $3 per month in India, but it gives them a giant head start.”
At that price it sits somewhere between rivals like Amazon Prime and Hotstar and its investment in local content may prove a decisive crucial, especially as many erstwhile content providers, like Disney, are now preferring to keep that material for their own streaming services.
Sourced from The Next Web, Axios; additional content by WARC staff