Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is visiting India right now and has announced three major partnerships in the country. With both Airtel and Videocon d2h Direct to Home (DTH) services, Netflix is now going to be available through the set-top box, without the need of a smart TV or another dongle like Chromecast and Apple TV. Netflix has also partnered with Vodafone to enable carrier billing so both postpaid and prepaid customers can pay for their Netflix subscriptions as a part of their monthly bill/ prepaid balance.
"India is one of the most important and vibrant countries in the world, and we are delighted to be teaming up with three of its leading companies to make it much easier for consumers to enjoy Netflix," said Hastings. "In the months and years to come, we look forward to bringing our Indian members more compelling stories from all over the world, and ever-improving viewing experience, and incredible joy."
The Netflix app will be integrated into the set-top boxes of both Airtel DTH and Videocon d2h, so that viewers can tune into Netflix on their televisions without having to use dongles or Smart TVs. You will still need to be a Netflix subscriber, of course, and the Airtel/ Videocon set-top box will need to have an Ethernet/ Wi-Fi-based Internet connection.
"Airtel has been a pioneer in bringing the best of global content and products to its customers [and] we are delighted to partner with Netflix," said Gopal Vittal, Managing Director and CEO (India and South Asia) Bharti Airtel.
Videocon appears to be going a step further as it will add a Netflix button to its set-top boxes, so you can instantly go to the app whenever you want. "We are delighted to have Netflix as a partner on our HD Smart Connect STB," said Saurabh Dhoot, Executive Chairman, Videocon d2h.
Netflix will be available through an app available on Videocon's connected set top box, HD SMART set top box, a connected set top box. The set top box can be connected to the Internet through any Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection in the home for accessing a curated set of applications, including Netflix, available through the Internet. The minimum Internet speed needed is 2Mbps.
Aside from these two partnerships, Netflix has also tied up with Vodafone, and will enable payment integration. This will allow Vodafone users to pay for their Netflix subscriptions through carrier billing, via their monthly bill/ prepaid balance.
Editor's note: An earlier version of the article incorrectly stated that Netflix will work on the new set-top boxes without an Internet connection.