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Netflix has no plans to change price points in India, says Reed Hastings
MUMBAI: Internet TV service provider Netflix has no plans to change price points in new markets like India, at least in the short term, because it is targeting premium audiences, CEO Reed Hastings said.
“We really haven’t seen price to be much of an issue. But then today we’re serving English-speaking elites in these countries. So in the model that we’re doing and targeting the high end, the price is fine. We’ll see over the coming years as we expand and we may need some flexibility eventually. But nothing in the short term,” Hastings told media analysts in a conference call.
On 6 January, Netflix had launched its internet TV network in more than 130 new countries around the world. In India, Netflix has three packages, namely basic, standard and premium, priced at Rs 500, Rs 650 and Rs 800 respectively. The basic package does not support HD streaming, which the standard package does. The premium pack supports HD as well as ultra HD streaming.
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos noted that India is one of the exciting markets for the company. It had acquired an Indian film named ‘Brahman Naman’, which will premiere globally in June.
“One of the exciting things about being in all these countries is being able to discover the next great storyteller for the world. So because we’re more focused thinking about India, where we weren’t thinking about it at all a couple of years ago, we acquired this great film called ‘Brahman Naman’ at Sundance this year, which we’ll be premiering around the world in June,” he said.
“And it really is a discovery of a great Indian director named Q, who I think everyone’s going to be talking about over the next few years, and having that kind of global sensibility increasingly is going to help the programming for everybody not just the subscribers in those countries.”
Hastings said that Netflix has a long distance to cover in terms of content offered in local language. “And so in a movie like ‘Brahman Naman’, it’s in English, so it’s accessible to many people. But YouTube has over 50 languages, while we only have about 20. So that scales for you roughly how far we’ve got to go,” he stated.
Answering another question whether it is working on more local language offerings, better payment processes and other operational improvements in the rest of world markets, Netflix CFO David Wells said, “It’s kind of both. So you’ll see some this year, but really it’s about the next two to three years in terms of improvement. We’ve only just started skimming these markets. So we’ll be looking at them opportunity by opportunity, and you’ll see some this year, but you’ll see some continued into next year and even into 2018.”