Netflix on Tuesday cut the price of its streaming service in India for the first time since launching in South Asia five years ago, as it moves to better compete with fierce rivals Disney and Amazon.
The streaming giant cut prices 60 percent to 199 rupees ($ 2.62) a month for its basic layout, which allows users to watch content on one device, the streaming giant said in a blog post.
The price of its floating-only plan will fall by a quarter to Rs 149, and the overall price of various plans will drop by 18% to 60%.
The new price is a real “money heist”, Netflix said in its announcement, using the name of one of its popular TV shows, but gave no reason.
For years, Netflix has priced its offerings well above Indian competitors like Disney and Amazon, citing much higher incomes of English-speaking households and watching entertainment in that language.
An entertainment industry analyst, who asked not to be named, said Netflix’s move reflected its efforts to expand beyond big cities.
“To capture this market, it needs to reduce costs”, added the analyst based in Mumbai’s financial center, as the company competed with larger competitors.
Amazon Prime Video costs 179 rupees ($ 2.36) a month, but unlike Netflix, it allows users to watch content on multiple devices simultaneously from the same account and offers a cheaper annual payment plan .
Disney + Hotstar offers an annual premium plan that provides access to all of its 4K content for INR 1,499 ($ 19.76).
Disney + Hotstar represents just under 40% of the total Disney + subscriber base of 116 million, the company said on its earnings call this year. However, Netflix and Amazon do not publish their data country by country.
In 2018, Netflix said that India could supply the next 100 million subscribers.
At the time, CEO Reed Hastings told Reuters in an interview that the company had no plans to cut prices in India, adding, “We have no pricing problem.”
Netflix has previously said that 2021 will be its biggest year in India, with more than 40 new releases, including films starring the best Bollywood actors, stand-up comedy shows and original series.