Netflix, the leading streaming content service company, is gearing up to test a cheaper version of its service in select markets in an effort to increase sales.
Bloomberg, citing Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings, reported that while Netflix hasn't committed to lowering its prices, Hastings said in an interview that was published on Wednesday (Nov. 14) that he wants to experiment. The executive declined to say when or where the tests will take place.
If Netflix did move to offer a lower-priced subscription plan, it would be a departure for the company, which has long maintained or increased prices in markets as it brings on more content and spends more money to create content in-house. Netflix did allude to experiments with lower-priced subscriptions when it reported earnings in October, Bloomberg reported, but this is the first time the company has said it will test a lower-priced offering in some markets.
Currently, Netflix offers three price levels, and the company isn't planning to lower the cheapest plan. Rather, it is looking at a different version of the service that will offer different features and thus will be priced lower. It will be added as a fourth tier instead of as a replacement for the existing tiers.
As for Netflix's presence in India, which is seen as a big growth market for the company, Hastings said he isn't too concerned about local competition, nor is the company trying to be like YouTube, which is the most popular video service in Asia. Last week at an event in Singapore, Netflix announced 17 new shows from five Asian countries, and said it's developing more than 100 film and TV projects in Asia, including in India.
Despite its efforts to date, the company's growth in the region has not surpassed two million subscribers in any country, reported Bloomberg, citing Media Partners Asia. Hasting thinks Netflix can lure 100 million customers in India, and told Bloomberg that it is targeting the 100 million people who speak some English in the country and can afford a service like Netflix.