Netflix has been growing fast internationally, but it still faces headwinds in India, where Hotstar dominates. Now Netflix is testing new plans in the country in hopes of growing its subscriber base.
According to the Economic Times, Netflix is testing lower cost, mobile-only plans in India. The company is charging 250 rupees per month for the mobile-only plan, which is half of the 500 rupees the company charges for its traditional streaming plan in India. The mobile-only plans only allow standard-definition content on a single mobile or tablet screen at one time.
"We will be testing different options in select countries where members can watch Netflix on their mobile device for a lower price and subscribe in shorter increments of time. Not everyone will see these options and we may never roll out these specific plans beyond the tests," a Netflix spokesperson confirmed to the publication.
As the report points out, even at this lower price point, Netflix in India still costs more than Hotstar, priced at 199 rupees, and Amazon, which offers video to Prime subscribers in India for 129 rupees per month.
Netflix’s tests of modified plans and pricing in India are clearly a reflection of the company's struggles competing with Hotstar, an SVOD service run by Star India, which was wholly owned by 21st Century Fox but passed to Disney as part of the company’s $71 billion acquisition of certain Fox assets.
According to research from Jana released last summer, Hotstar holds 69.7% of the market in India, while Amazon holds 5% and Netflix holds just 1.4%.
Despite the uphill battle in India, Netflix has maintained rapid growth in international markets where it’s available. During the most recent quarter, Netflix added 7.3 million new paid international subscribers.