Subscriptions

Netflix Launches Mobile-Only Plan In India To Counteract Subscriber Slowdown

Netflix Launches Mobile Only Plan In India To Counteract Subscriber Slowdown

Netflix has announced a cheaper, mobile-only subscription plan in India, according to reports.

The company recently tested similar plans around some Asian markets last year. The new plan is priced at Rs 199 ($2.80), and it will be limited to a single phone and only be in standard definition. 

It is much cheaper than Netflix’s current basic option, which is Rs 499 ($7.25). The premium plan costs Rs 799 ($11.60).

Netflix announced the launch with its Q2 earnings, and said it was going to focus on India first because of local market conditions. 

“After several months of testing, we’ve decided to roll out a lower-priced mobile-screen plan in India to complement our existing plans,” the company said. “We believe this plan will be an effective way to introduce a larger number of people in India to Netflix and to further expand our business in a market where Pay TV ARPU (average revenue per user) is low (below $5).”

Netflix also tested the mobile-only subscription plan in Malaysia, but didn’t disclose where it will take it next. 

Netflix recently reported slower growth than usual and a net streaming loss for the first time. The company said globally it increased 2.7 million members, which is half of last year and under the mark for the 5 million it had predicted. The streaming loss in the U.S. was 130,000 members. This coincides with a price hike that saw costs rise 18 percent earlier in the year, and in Europe where in some places prices rose 20 percent. 

“Our missed forecast was across all regions, but slightly more so in regions with price increases,” the company said.

The membership drop means Netflix may decide to bring the mobile-only plans stateside at some point. A report by eMarketer showed that adults spend more time on phones now than they do watching TV.

Google recently said that 70 percent of YouTube watch time is on a mobile phone as well, and that YouTube accounts for almost 40 percent of all mobile traffic around the world. 

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