With the launch of its original series Bard of Blood, Netflix is testing free access to a few episodes without users having to sign up for the OTT platform.

Netflix testing free service with limited catalogue in India
Atom OTT Monday, September 30, 2019 - 17:47

The Indian OTT industry is getting steamier by the day with new players entering the fray every other day with low prices and varied content. Netflix, which has one of the highest subscription rates in the country of around Rs 500 per month. The company is now reportedly mulling introducing a limited free offering within its app.

Reports on the proposed move by Netflix say the OTT platform will permit the free viewing limited content and that too only on Android devices and on desktops.

The company has already been bringing India-focused content in the form of shows and movies, for which it has commissioned players from Bollywood. There are in all 22 movies and 11 series in the pipeline which will all be original to Netflix and will find a worldwide audience, India included. Some of these could be considered for free viewing. A new series, Bard of Blood, could be offered for free viewing.

Netflix may even come up with a plan to permit partial viewing of a series, say a few episodes and then leave the remaining episodes under the paid-only plan. After all, these plans the OTT platform is making is meant to convert as many viewers as possible into paid subscribers.

At a time when other players have been offering cheaper subscription plans, Netflix already came up with a concessional mobile-only plan at Rs 199 per month for Indian subscribers. The company has mentioned earlier in an earnings call that they may consider other pricing points not only in India but in the other markets as well as part of its objective of expanding the viewership base.

In India, Hotstar currently has the highest number of paid subscribers at 3 million, though the number of people viewing its app exceeds 300 million. Amazon Prime has 2.5 million and Netflix, 1.5 million subscribers.

Besides Jio TV, Netflix is keeping an eye on Apple TV+ that has also made an entry in the Indian market and is offering subscription rates lower than that charged currently by Netflix.