Everything you need to know about Netflix launch in India.
Netflix starting its service in India and many other countries is a pure business decision as the online steaming market in the USA has already saturated and the content in the US is getting more and more expensive. Surprisingly Netflix India’s plans starts at Rs 500 for a SD to Rs 800 for UHD which is very similar to what’s available in the US. The reason for the surprise is in India at Rs 800 you can actually get tons of channels and its content unlike US where you have to pay more than $50 to $100 to get premium channels and its contents. It is this price difference which makes Netflix very enticing in the US.
Netflix India has less than 10% of the content available in the US and compared to that the price is same which makes no sense. Indian audiences have a very different mindset, they like to see loads and loads of content in the list, even though they will never watch everything. That’s why Tata Sky and Videocon are able to sell their Premium packages with 100s of channels easily in the Indian market.
Another huge challenge for Netflix apart from the heavy price is the Internet services in India. They are in no way lagging in speed but Netflix sucks data like Chevy car sucks petrol on Indian roads (apologies if I hurt some Chevy fans but had a very bad experience with Chevy car in India), my total internet usage amounts to more than 300 GB data per month out of which Netflix takes a lion’s share in the US. The whole point is ISPs in India provide an unlimited data plans with a caveat, it’s called “Fare Usage Policy” popularly known as “Data Cap” in the US. After you cross a certain threshold your internet speed drops. One example I can give was of my ISP in India gave 50 MBPS Unlimited data and after 30 GB the speed dropped to 1 MBPS. With 1 MBPS Netflix SD might also not work that well.
A lot of American TV Shows are getting popular in India, but they are all mostly viewed using copies downloaded from bit Torrents, so people get them mostly for free. The idea of paying for watching content online is little new in India and Netflix will have to come up with something really enticing and affordable at the same time to make any impact in the Indian market.
Here are some of the things which you should consider before subscribing to Netflix.
1. You should have an Internet connection of minimum 25 MBPS at home.
2. The Data plan should be truly unlimited with a Fare Usage policy of minimum than 150 GB per month.
3. If you have multiple HD TVs at home you must choose plan appropriately.
4. 4K content on Netflix is limited in US so in India it might be even less also it consumes more data so consider than in your decision.
5. Not all content on Netflix is latest so please consider this in your decision as well.
6. None of the content on Netflix is censored so watching with family sometimes become challenging.
If Netflix does not update its content availability for Indian audiences sooner it will just become a product for the elite and not for the masses which is the main objective of the company. Netflix has already mentioned in media interactions that they will be working with Indian content providers to add more content including local content, but all this has to happen sooner. Over all it seems Netflix did not do enough homework before the launch in Indian market and it might slow down its penetration. One of the best things about Netflix entering Indian market is that many service providers like HBO GO, Hulu etc will start thinking of doing the same and people from India will get to enjoy American Shows sooner.