Netflix is testing a mobile-only subscription plan in India that costs Rs. 250 a month, half of what the streaming giant's Basic plan users spend in the country right now. The Los Gatos, California-based company on Thursday confirmed the existence of the plan, however it pointed out that the mobile-only plan is just a test and “not a rollout.” The development comes four months after a similar mobile-only plan was spotted in Malaysia, indicating that the streaming company is serious about the plan.
“We are always looking for ways to make Netflix more enjoyable and accessible. We will be testing different options in select countries where members can, for example, watch Netflix on their mobile device for a lower price and subscribe in shorter increments of time,” a Netflix spokesperson told Gadgets 360 responding to media reports about the mobile-only plan. Users also reported the existence of such a plan, revealing the Rs. 250 plan in testing is mobile only, doesn't provide HD or Ultra-HD quality streaming, and that streaming would only be accessible by a single screen at a time.
“Not everyone will see these options and we may never roll out these specific plans beyond the tests,” the Netflix spokesperson added.
Netflix currently offers three subscription plans, starting at Rs. 500 and going up to Rs. 800, making the service much expensive than its competitors in the country, most of which cost less than Rs. 1,000 a year or Rs. 200 a month.
Netflix has been bullish about the Indian market and the company CEO Reed Hastings had told Reuters in November last year that India could deliver the next 100 million subscribers for the streaming service. He, however, had categorically denied any plans to introduce lower prices for the country. It is possible that Hastings and Netflix have had a change of heart since then.
Although Netflix doesn't officially share the subscriber numbers for India, the company is said to account for over 6 percent of the total streaming market in the country. As per a research report from Kalagato, released in November 2018, Netflix ranked eighth in the country based on the total subscribers, below the likes of Hotstar, Jio TV, Zee5, Jio Cinema and SonyLiv.
The streaming service clearly has a long road to go if it wants to a grab a significant chunk of the market in India and a lot of that will depend on the cost of its subscription plans.