While companies have fallen over one another all these months, vying with the competitors to attract customers with offers for Hindu festivals, which reached its peak during the Dussehra-Diwali season, Netflix woke up on 14 December to give its users an early Christmas gift as it slashed monthly prices for all subscriptions in India, as though to show they do not quite relate to the Indian culture, much as few will resent any discount or saving, whatever be the service provider’s excuse.
“Starting today, Netflix members in India will get access to all of Netflix, from all around the world, uninterrupted and without ads, at new, lower prices,” the company said in a statement on a day when the Hindu Malamasa (मलमास) has begun. Malamasa falls on 14 December and ends on Makar Sankranti in January, which is generally the 14th of that month.
The Mobile plan will now cost users Rs 149 from the earlier Rs 199. Meanwhile, the price for the Basic plan has been slashed to Rs 199 from Rs 499 previously. The Standard plan is now Rs 499 instead of Rs 649 earlier and the Premium plan is now Rs 649 instead of Rs 799.
As though the company were operating somewhere in the West, Monika Shergill, VP-Content, Netflix India said, “As Indians, we love great entertainment. Whatever your mood, tastes or plan, Netflix is now even more accessible.”
Users who already use a Mobile, Basic or Standard plan will be upgraded to a plan one tier higher than their current plans at the same monthly price they currently pay.
Shergill said that the price drop was matched with a power-packed slate that the company is launching.
Netflix has been a premium offering since its launch in India in 2016, with subscription plans starting from about Rs 500. Since then, the company has tweaked pricing as well as introduced a mobile-only plan in the country.
“We have had great momentum since the time we came here (India), particularly over the last two years. When we came in, we were more of a service that brought global content. But in the last two-three years that has been changing dramatically…,” Shergill said. Really?
She said that the pricing would appeal to everyone across the board, including new users joining the platform.
While Netflix plays in the premium content streaming space, it competes with the likes of Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar and even YouTube, along with other local players in the Indian market.
The competition in the video-on-demand space has intensified as data tariffs have come down drastically in the country.
Content consumption has grown manifold in the last few years, especially amid the pandemic. OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Hotstar, and Zee5 have seen significant growth in user numbers. Smaller players like Hungama and ALTBalaji are actively expanding their library with original programming to tap into the Indian market.
Amazon had recently announced that it will increase the price of the annual membership of its Prime programme (which includes content as well as other benefits) in India by 50 per cent to Rs 1,499. Monthly and quarterly fees are also being hiked. Disney+Hotstar is available for Rs 899 a year onwards.