Netflix is now available in India. But will anybody watch?
The online video-streaming company said on Wednesday that its list of TV shows and movies is now available in 190 nations, including India, which has the world’s second-biggest population of Internet users.
Internet use is blasting in India, driven by falling smartphone prices.
Every customer of Bharti Airtel Ltd., India’s largest cellular provider, utilized 765 megabytes of data a month for the quarter that ended September, an increase from 563 megabytes from a year earlier.
Much of the included consumption is from streaming video and music.
Netflix needs Indians to sign up for its online service to help counterbalance slowing subscriber growth in the U.S. It will need to compete with a host of services in India, consisting of Airtel’s own Wynk music and video streaming app, which subscribers get for nothing.
The Los Gatos, Calif.-based organization charges users a monthly fee, and Indians won’t receive quite a bit of a discount. Subscription plans begin from 500 rupees ($7.50). Although high-definition movies and the capability to watch something else on the service while your partner binge-watches some old seasons of “Orange is the New Black,” will set you back around 650 rupees a month, close to the U.S. price of $10 for the equivalent plan. The first month is free in all forms of the service in India.
Furthermore, Indians do pay for movies and entertainment: on an average they each spent around 355 rupees a month in 2014, as per Deloitte.
However, if Netflix wants to keep individuals out of movie theater seats and on the lounge chair, then the service needs to work on the nation’s often overwhelmed Internet network.
The organization says that customers will require at least a 3 megabits-a-second broadband network to watch movies, and 5 megabits-a-second to watch in full high definition.
Most Indians will need to upgrade their basic Internet connection to watch Netflix. They will apparently need a new router as well. Older wireless routers that providers gave out for free cannot handle those faster Internet speeds.
Eventually, Netflix’s success in India will be attached to whether Indians watch on their primary, and generally sole, computing device: their smartphones.
Viewing a movie or a TV show will eat about 1 gigabyte of data an hour, 30% more than the current monthly average for Indian users.