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Netflix slashes its India pricing, now available at Rs 149 per month

The service's most expensive Premium tier that offers Ultra high-definition (Ultra HD) content with support for four concurrent screens, is now priced at Rs 649 per month, down from Rs 799 per month.

December 14, 2021 / 08:14 AM IST

Netflix is reducing its India pricing for the first time since the service's foray in 2016 as it looks to ramp up its user base amid intense competition and a rising appetite for digital content in the country.

The entry-level Basic plan, that allows subscribers to watch its shows and films in standard definition (SD) on a single mobile, tablet, computer or television screen at a time, has been slashed to Rs 199 per month from Rs 499 per month.

Meanwhile, the Standard tier which offers high-definition (HD) content along with support for two concurrent screens, has been reduced to Rs 499 per month from Rs 649 per month.

The service's most expensive Premium tier that offers Ultra high-definition (Ultra HD) content with support for four concurrent screens, is now priced at Rs 649 per month, down from Rs 799 per month.

Netflix's mobile-only plan which was introduced in India in July 2019 at Rs 199 per month, will now be available for Rs 149 per month. The new pricing will be applicable from the user's next billing cycle.

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Monika Shergill, VP-Content, Netflix India, told Moneycontrol they are also rolling out a new auto-upgrade feature for existing members starting December 14, wherein the service will show a popup that allows users to auto-upgrade their plan to the next tier if they are comfortable paying the existing prices.

For instance, if the user is on the old Rs 499 Basic plan and they confirm the upgrade, they will automatically be moved to the next tier 'Standard' which now has the same Rs 499 price. Alternatively, users can also decline the upgrade to avail the lower pricing.

Netflix's costly pricing has been one of the key roadblocks for the service's growth in the country, especially as it competes with rivals such as Disney+ Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Zee Entertainment's ZEE5, and Sony Pictures Network's SonyLIV among others.

This move would allow Netflix to attract a new set of audience to its platform, at a time when it is increasingly relying on international markets for future growth.

In a letter to its shareholders in October 2021, the firm said the Asia Pacific region was the largest contributor to its membership growth, accounting for half of the paid member additions in Q3 2021.

While the company doesn't offer a country-wise breakup of its members, a recent report by independent research and consulting firm Media Partners Asia (MPA) had projected the service's subscriber base at 5.5 million by the end of 2021.

The report also noted that while the service has only 5% of total subscribers in India, it leads the market in terms of subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) revenue share, accounting for 29% of the total market revenue. Overall, India currently has around 102 million SVoD subscribers, which is expected to grow to 224 million by 2026, it said.

Netflix's pricing tests

In the past couple of years, Netflix has also piloted various pricing experiments in India, so as to make its offering more attractive to potential customers.

This includes testing a cheaper entry-level plan earlier this year, giving free weekend access to non-subscribers in December 2020, and testing weekly plans and discounted long-term subscription plans last year. It also made select shows and movies available for free to all users across the world in August last year.

The company has also ramped up its content programming in India, releasing its largest-ever roster of more than 40 original titles in March this year.

Some of its upcoming titles include Malayalam-language superhero-comedy film Minnal Murali, R Madhavan-starrer romantic comedy Decoupled, Madhuri Dixit-starrer Finding Anamika, and global titles such as the new seasons of The Witcher and Cobra Kai and the Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep-starrer comedy Don't Look Up among others.

Also readNetflix launches mobile games for users around the world



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Vikas SN
first published: Dec 14, 2021 08:14 am
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