Home / Industry / Media /  India not on the list for Netflix’s ad-supported model

American streaming platform Netflix will introduce a lower-priced, advertising-supported plan called Basic with Ads beginning on 3 November in the United States for $6.99. This tier will also be available in 11 other countries in November: Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico and Spain. However, India is not on the list of countries where the plan will be rolled out.

“We appreciate all the interest in our new Basic with Ads plan. We’re launching in 12 countries only and it won’t be available in India. As we learn from and improve Basic with Ads, we’ll look to launch in more countries over time. In India consumers can choose from our four existing plans," a Netflix spokesperson said in response to Mint’s queries.

In December, Netflix had slashed rates by 18-60% across plans in India to woo wider audiences and deepen penetration. Its mobile-only plan, earlier priced at Rs. 199 a month, now comes for Rs. 149. The basic plan, which allows access to all content on one device, is priced at Rs. 199 from Rs. 499.

“One way to increase the price spread is advertising on low-end plans and to have lower prices with advertising. Those who have followed Netflix know that I’ve been against the complexity of advertising and a big fan of the simplicity of subscription. But as much I’m a fan of that, I’m a bigger fan of consumer choice. Allowing consumers who would like to have a lower price and are advertising-tolerant get what they want makes a lot of sense,“ Netflix founder and chairman Reed Hastings had said during an earnings call in April.

To be sure, several streaming services in India and across the world have realised that paid subscriptions aren’t enough to thrive in competitive markets. Amazon Prime Video had launched its free service miniTV last May while others like Viacom18 Pvt Ltd-owned Voot and ZEE5 also offer programming for free.

Lata Jha
Lata Jha covers media and entertainment for Mint. She focuses on the film, television, video and audio streaming businesses. She is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism. She can be found at the movies, when not writing about them.
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