Netflix CEO Reed Hastings rules out disruptive pricing in India

MUMBAI: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has ruled out adopting disruptive pricing in India to garner a larger share of mobile users in India. He further stated that the company is happy with the results of the pricing strategy adopted by the company in India.

The video streaming giant has three plans in India. The basic plan is priced Rs 500 per month. The mid-tier pack offering HD access is priced Rs 650 per month. While the top pack that allows streaming 4K content is priced at Rs 800.

“On pricing, we’ve been very happy with the results on our INR 500 to INR 800 in India, our pricing in the different countries. So no near-term plans. Of course, we are always trying to learn more over time,” Hastings told analysts when asked whether the company will take an aggressive approach to pricing in emerging markets like India which has a large mobile video consumer base.

Talking about the company’s go-to-market strategy in India, Netflix chief product officer Gregory Peters said that the company’s partnering strategy is on an evolving trajectory across all the markets.

He noted that Netflix, in its early stage, had partnered with television and CE manufacturers in the US to offer a great add-on to their products. Then it started partnering multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), Internet service providers (ISPs), and mobile operators to increase its reach. Netflix had recently partnered Comcast and Sky for a bundling service.

“So you’ll see us leverage that sort of evolving strategy not only in the markets that we’ve been in for many years but also in these new markets. But it’s a consistent shift across all of our markets,” Peters stated.

Netflix is also ensuring that customers who want to consume the platform’s content on mobile have a good experience. In most developed markets, Netflix is consumed on TV screens. However, in evolving markets like India, the mobile has become the pre-eminent mode of consuming content, particularly for young consumers.

“We definitely want to have a mobile experience which allows us to access more of that market and access a group of consumers who basically only want to have their relationship with Netflix on a mobile device,” Peters said.

In order to attract more mobile users, Netflix is making sure that the app is lightweight so that it loads quickly and users have a great experience. It is also making sure that the encoding is efficient so that the service works even in a less-than-great network connection.

“But ultimately, even — we want to do things like the download capability that we launched, where if you have no connection or it’s a spotty connection or you just want to save your data plan, save that — those — that data bits for something else, we allow you to download some shows and enjoy that even when you’re offline,” he added.

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