Culture

Netflix is testing long-term subscriptions in India

In exchange for loyalty, users can get steep discounts.

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Netflix is hoping long-term 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month subscription options will win the loyalty of Indian consumers.

Why all the deals? — Netflix likely sees India as a massive untapped market — and with the second largest population of internet users worldwide, it should. The market for streaming services in India could reach $5 billion by 2023, according to Boston Consulting Group.

The options — Consumers can potentially save money on Netflix’s new plans, but only if they plan to stick with the service. Here's the pricing breakdown:

  • 3 months: ₹1,919 ($27.11, a 20% discount)
  • 6 months: ₹3,359 ($47.45, a 30% discount)
  • 12 months: ₹4,799 ($67.79, a 50% discount)

This is in addition to the basic plan at ₹499 ($7.05) per month, the standard plan at ₹649 ($9.17), the premium plan at ₹799 ($11.29), and the mobile-only plan, which the company introduced earlier this year, available at ₹199 ($2.79) a month.

The outlook — Unlike in the U.S., where it dominates, Netflix is still trying to crack the Indian market, which sees competitors like Zee Entertainment and Balaji Telefilms bundling subscriptions with mobile phone services. “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 Netflix spokeswoman told Reuters via email.

Netflix abroad — Netflix launched in India in 2016, as part of its global rollout to 190 countries, and has committed to spending over $400 million on original Indian content for 2019 and 2020. So far the company has produced shows such as gangster drama Sacred Games, cop procedural Delhi Crime, and the animated Mighty Little Bheem. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has stated that Netflix sees its next 100 million subscribers “coming from India.”