Subscriptions

Netflix Pilots Extended Subscription Model In India

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Netflix is launching a pilot in India that will offer discounted longer-term subscription plans, Economic Times  reported on Wednesday (Dec. 11), citing sources. 

“We believe that our members may value the flexibility that comes from being able to pay for a few months at once. As always, this is a test and we will only introduce it more broadly if people find it useful,” a spokesperson for Netflix told the news outlet.

The company is trying to grow its subscriber base in India and Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings said ₹3,000 crore ($420 million) will be spent on new programming in the country through 2020. It already created original series like “Sacred Games” and “Delhi Crime.”

Hastings said at a New Delhi press conference that the firm’s first animated series from India, “Mighty Little Bheem,” was streamed by 27 million households worldwide.

New Netflix subscribers in India can choose among three plans — three months, six months or annual — and get discounts as much as 50 percent, a source told Reuters. The three-month plans will be offered at a 20 percent discount; six-month plans are discounted 30 percent. Netflix is currently one of the most expensive video streaming services in the country.

The streaming content firm has used India to pilot new features and in addition to the longer-term plans, also offers a mobile-only monthly subscription starting at ₹199 rupees ($2.79). The company’s premium monthly subscription is ₹799.

Earlier this year, Netflix tested weekly plans as well as free content for non-subscribers for a limited time.

India has the second-largest internet base worldwide and is a critical country for Netflix’s future growth. China blocks the service and U.S. subscribers are slowing down.

Netflix has almost 160 million subscribers worldwide but numbers for India were not disclosed.

Digital entertainment has become a cornerstone of subscription commerce — perhaps even more so than goods and products. Facebook has been testing a subscription model for its Facebook Watch hub and Google Play Pass is a new subscription gaming service for Android phones.

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