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Home >Industry >Media >Production headwinds loom for Netflix in India

Production headwinds loom for Netflix in India

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The Reed Hastings-owned company has added 3.98 million paid subscriptions in the January to March quarter globally, with 1.36 million of these coming from the Asia-Pacific region.

Netflix is 'producing safely' in every major market except for India and Brazil amid an uneven roll-out of vaccines, it said on Wednesday even as it acknowledged the success of India’s bundled low-cost subscription model

NEW DELHI : Netflix is “producing safely" in every major market except for India and Brazil amid an uneven roll-out of vaccines, it said on Wednesday even as it acknowledged the success of India’s bundled low-cost subscription model.

Netflix is “producing safely" in every major market except for India and Brazil amid an uneven roll-out of vaccines, it said on Wednesday even as it acknowledged the success of India’s bundled low-cost subscription model.

The Reed Hastings-owned US video streaming company added 3.98 million paid subscriptions in the March quarter globally, including 1.36 million from the Asia-Pacific region.

The Reed Hastings-owned US video streaming company added 3.98 million paid subscriptions in the March quarter globally, including 1.36 million from the Asia-Pacific region.

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Production delays from covid-19 in 2020 will lead to a 2021 slate that is more heavily second half-weighted, Netflix believes.

“While the roll-out of vaccines is very uneven across the world, we are back up and producing safely in every major market, with the exception of Brazil and India," the company said on Wednesday.

Earlier this year, Netflix had announced more than 40 originals worldwide for 2021, saying it was looking to expand its slate by nearly three times across languages and genres, without disclosing any investment figures. As far as the Indian offerings go, the company said a thriller titled Dhamaka starring Kartik Aaryan is slated for this quarter.

“Something that’s been quite successful for us in pretty much all the markets we serve around the world is leveraging go-to-market partners who have existing relationships with consumers as a way to expose them to the Netflix service and then have them make it easy to pay (for the service)," Greg Peters, chief operating officer and chief product officer at Netflix, said during an earnings call.

“Of course, the ultimate and easy to pay is (if) it’s just included (in) the sort of bundled offerings that we’ve been doing more of," Peters said.

Reliance Jio is “a great example of a partner we’ve been working with there (in India) to really bring the service to a new demographic at a very low price associated with low-cost mobile plans that they are offering as well as home-based IPTV (internet protocol television) plans. Those have been successful for us as well," he said.

Netflix India partnered with Jio in September 2020 to offer a free mobile-only subscription to post-paid subscribers for plans starting at 399 per month. The subscribers were offered the option to upgrade to traditional plans.

Netflix is also bundled with Jio’s fixed broadband service with free access to Jio subscribers opting for data plans starting at 1,499 per month. The streaming platform in July 2020 started testing a 349 per month ‘mobile plus’ plan in India, which allows single HD streaming on mobiles, tablets and laptops.

Netflix’s partnership with Jio was expected to help the platform close 2020 with 4.6 million paid subscribers in India, according to a November analysis by Media Partners Asia, an independent provider of research, advisory and consulting services. Netflix does not give out country-specific subscriber numbers.

Calling India a “tremendous opportunity", co-chief executive officer and chief content officer Ted Sarandos said during the earnings call that the company’s confidence in the country stems from the success of investments till date. “We are still figuring things out. So that investment takes some guts and forward-looking belief," founder Hastings said.

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