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Netflix India's discount intensifies battle with Amazon and Disney

International Desk
|  08 Jan 2022, 20:40
Netflix India's discount intensifies battle with Amazon and Disney
Photo: Collected
Netflix, Amazon and other video streamers are betting big on India, tantalized by the huge growth potential offered by its more than 1.3 billion people.

Netflix slashed prices by up to 60%. Its popular mobile-only plan now costs 149 rupees ($2) per month, down from 199 rupees On December 14. A basic subscription that allows a user to watch content on any device has been cut to 199 rupees from 499 rupees. Its veryexpensive plan, which allows for simultaneous viewing on up to four devices, has been reduced to 649 rupees from 799 rupees.


But the reductions might not have gone far enough. The Los Gatos, California-based entertainment giant does not offer annual subscriptions, unlike cheaper rivals Amazon Prime Video and Walt Disney's Disney+Hotstar, which sell yearly plans for 1,499 rupees to access top services in these platforms that offer access to all content. Amazon subscribers also enjoy faster and free deliveries through the conglomerate's e-commerce platform, among other benefits.


SonyLIV dangles an even cheaper annual plan in front of India's highly price-conscious consumers, 999 rupees, while ZEE5 currently sells 12-month packages for 499 rupees.

Analysts say Netflix is trying to reach a wider audience with its price cuts as the premium service's pace of subscriber growth has been unimpressive.


"Netflix has to up the ante! It was more expensive than Amazon and Disney and is falling behind in the subscription numbers," Vineeta Dwivedi, head of digital communications at the Mumbai-based S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, told Nikkei Asia. "Everyone is acing the content game, but the prices have to be comparable. Ultimately, it's about the numbers, and India remains a price-sensitive market which offers a huge and growing user base."


Tapobrati Das Samaddar -- founder of Wordloom Creative Ventures, a company that deals with media, education and performing arts -- concurs. "No matter how much they loved [the content on Netflix], the general public might have thought twice or thrice before investing into its [basic 499-rupee monthly plan] because other platforms were providing far more affordable options," she told Nikkei. "Netfllix's premium pricing was not helping it grow its viewership."


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