With the aim of countering arch rival Jio and its Jio TV app, Bharti Airtel is continuously upgrading its Airtel TV app. The telco has been offering a free subscription to Amazon Prime since January and partnered with Hotstar in February to widen the catalogue of its Airtel TV app. And now, it is reported that Airtel is in talks with Netflix to offer a free subscription to its content through the Airtel TV app. The latest move is apparently aimed to strategically defeat Jio TV app that offers access to a plethora of content from Voot, Zee 5, Yupp TV, Sony LIV, and Hotstar.
As per a report by PTI, citing people familiar with the development, Airtel and Netflix are in advanced discussions to offer Netflix subscription for free to Airtel TV app users. "Several rounds of discussions have been completed between the two companies and the deal could be announced in the coming weeks," the sources told the news agency. It is worth noting here that while there are discussions to omit the subscription fee for Netflix, Airtel users are said to be required to pay for data they will consume for accessing the online content.
A Netflix spokesperson responded to a query about the partnership talks with an ambiguous statement. "We don't comment on rumours or speculations," the spokesperson said in the statement emailed to Gadgets 360. However, no immediate response was received from Airtel on a separate email query at the time of filing this story.
Netflix entered India in January 2016 as a part of its global rollout, and in March 2017, the Scotts Valley, California-based company partnered with Airtel and Videocon to offer its international content via direct-to-home (D2H) service platforms. The service hosts more than 125 million hours of TV shows and movies on a daily basis, including original series, documentaries, and feature films. In February, three Netflix original series were added from India to localise the catalogue.