On Tuesday, streaming giant Netflix made an announcement that in its first-quarter earnings that it is believed that it made an addition of four million new consumers globally. At the time of the earnings call, Netflix co-founder and chairman Reed Hastings even spoke about the company’s investment in India and why the country has remained a tremendous opportunity.
Hastings didn’t speak about didn’t hold back mentioning investment in India is speculative. He also said, “India, we’re still figuring things out. And so that investment takes some guts and belief forward-looking. But the other investments you should think of, just like rich European countries, content exports really well, and we’re just getting a little better every month on it.”
He made a comparison of India’s growth chapter with its successful company which has been in Korea, Japan where the country has now doubled down its original content. He said, “(About India) I would say we’re still mostly focused on getting a content fit and getting broader content. So that’s why I’d say that one is a more speculative investment than, say, Korea or Japan, which, again, 5 years ago was very speculative when we did those, okay? But we’ve got off – we’re over the hump on that.”
Moreover, the streaming giant’s top executives remained bullish regarding India and it’s being a “tremendous opportunity.” Initially, Netflix has even announced its plan of releasing its new original production this year in India only. Netflix’s co-CEO, chief content officer, and director, Theodore A. Sarandos mentioned that in India the wait is worth it. He also added, “It’s just, like all great opportunities, it’s a long journey, and it’s a challenge. And we think it’s worth it. And that’s why we’re investing early and trying to stay ahead of it. And I think we’ll be able to see those kinds of results that we’ve seen in other places in the world as we continue to learn more and more and more.”
Although India remained at the low ARPU market, which has only pushed the company for more pricing experiments. Gregory Peters, Netflix’s chief operating officer and chief product officer mentioned that the company is trying for figuring out the right pricing model in India.
Currently, Netflix has now gone from the desktop only the plans starting at Rs 699 per month and also introducing mobile-only plans in India which is for as low as Rs 199. Currently, they are also building partnerships with the likes of JIO, which is Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani’s telecom and the digital platform.
Now Peters spoke about the successful strategy for those who have been leveraging their go-to-market partners who have existing relationships with the consumers and makes use of them for pushing Nextflix service and then had them making it “easy to pay.”
Peters said, “The ultimate and easy to pay is it just included the sort of bundled offerings that we’ve been doing more and more of, and Jio is a great example of a partner we’ve been working with there to really bring the service to a new demographic at a very, very low price associated with low-cost mobile plans that they’re offering as well as home-based IPTV plans. And those have been successful for us as well.”