A Netflix subscription that costs less than $3 a month sounds like a dream come true, but there are some caveats. Video can only be streamed to a single iPhone, iPad or other mobile device, and that device has to be in India.
This super-low tier was created to appeal to the huge potential market in that country.
Netflix believes India is a natural fit. Indians spend 30% of their phone time, and over 70% of their mobile data, on entertainment.
“Our members in India watch more on their mobiles than members anywhere else in the world — and they love to download our shows and films,” said Ajay Arora, Director, Product Innovation, Netflix. “We believe this new plan will make Netflix even more accessible and better suit people who like to watch on their smartphones and tablets — both on the go and at home.”
The company promises it’s investing heavily in Indian films and series across all genres and for all generations. Thirteen new films and nine new original series are already in development.
While there is demand, incomes are low. A software developer makes about $14,000 in US dollars, for example.
Netflix’s solution is the INR 199 ($2.88) Mobile plan. Video is in standard definition (SD) on one smartphone or tablet at a time.
That’s well below the company’s Basic plan, which costs INR 499 ($7.23) and allows shows to be watched on a TV or laptop. Still, it’s higher than the INR 129 ($1.87) monthly cost of rival Amazon Prime Video.