As the over the top (OTT) market is India is thriving, Netflix, which confidently entered the market a few years ago seems to be feeling the heat. In fact, the online streaming player has admitted that it is way behind YouTube and Hotstar in the over the top (OTT) video-streaming platform segment and is hence looking at slightly changing its strategy for India, moving away from being only a premium player.
One of the reason for Netflix to be lagging behind seems to be its pricing, which is higher than competition. It is reportedly looking to enter lower-priced segments to attract new subscribers to its platform.
There is only a limited number of people who will be willing to pay more than Rs 500 per month to watch the shows that Netflix has on offer. No doubt, the company has gone about adding local content including the high profile Sacred Games show, Lust Stories, etc.
But Netflix cannot sail on just one show in Hindi. It is trying to add programmes in some of the more popular regional languages as well. Amazon Prime Video, for instance has been able to add to its subscription base thanks largely due to its combining the benefits of being a Prime member that include free delivery on most products and assured next day delivery. In that sense the customer would think the video-streaming is practically free of cost to them. Prime has been such a hit among consumers that Amazonâ€™s rival ecommerce firms in India are now planning to add entertainment on their sites to take on the global retail giant.
Hotstar, owned by the Star Group also has a model where there is free as well as paid content. Netflix has no such provision. One has to pay for accessing all content on its site.
Nevertheless, Netflix is still upbeat about its business prospects in India and it is now looking at making some changes to its offerings and may open up a fremium model similar to Hotstar or a lower priced package for certain minimum content and keep adding more like the DTH companies do for their channels. Netflix could even look at a pay per view model to attract customers and then try to convert them to full-time subscribers.