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Photo: Bloomberg
Photo: Bloomberg

Netflix scripts success with India’s StreamFest as global subscribers cross 200 million

  • According to analytics firm Apptopia, Netflix saw eight lakh app downloads during the first weekend of StreamFest, a 2570% increase in downloads versus the previous week.

NEW DELHI : American streaming service Netflix, in its Q4 earnings on Wednesday, said it has seen success with its two-day StreamFest in India that had allowed non-subscribers to access the service for free this December. According to analytics firm Apptopia, Netflix saw eight lakh app downloads during the first weekend of StreamFest, a 2570% increase in downloads versus the previous week.

Originally intended for two days, Netflix had to extend the offer over the week as StreamFest ran to full capacity and the service tweeted to let users know it would inform them when they could get a two-day pass on their registered email ID. According to market intelligence firm Sensor Tower, first-time Netflix app installs leapt 190% from approximately 551,000 on 1 December to about 1.6 million installs on the 2nd thanks to an uptick of downloads from users in India.

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In the first six days of December, the app saw nearly 9 million installs globally, more than half of the 16.7 million first-time worldwide installs it saw in November.

“It was very evident (during StreamFest) that there's a lot of interest amongst consumers in India to try Netflix. We had millions of people that had access for a 48-hour period to the service," Greg Peters, chief operating officer and chief product officer at Netflix said during an earnings call for the December quarter. “And now we go through the more difficult part of actually analyzing how that interest through this specific tactic translates into sustained incremental growth. What we see there will inform how we think about how we leverage that tactic again, or how we improve on it, what other places we think it might be leverageable," Peters added.

With 8.5 million paid net additions in Q4, Netflix said it has crossed the 200 million paid memberships mark worldwide.

For the full year of 2020, the Reed Hastings-owned service added 37 million paid memberships and notched up $25 billion in annual revenue, aided by the world remaining locked up at home during the covid-19 pandemic, with few new entertainment offerings on hand. The APAC (Asia and Pacific) region was the second largest contributor to paid net additions last year with 9.3 million.

Though Netflix does not share region-specific numbers, a November report by Media Partners Asia, an independent provider of research, advisory and consulting services across media, telecom, sports and entertainment industries in the Asia Pacific region estimated that the service could close 2020 with 4.6 million paid subscribers in India. Overall, the service was expected to command more than 25 million subscribers in the Asia Pacific region by the end of the year with India comprising up to 9% of the platform’s global revenue share in Q3 2020.

Standout titles for the fourth quarter of 2020 include season four of The Crown that emerged as the biggest season of the show so far with over 100 million member households having chosen to watch it since its initial launch. Apart from Shonda Rhimes’ Bridgerton, popular offerings in the quarter included original film The Midnight Sky directed by George Clooney that 72 million member households chose in its first four weeks, Barbarians, a historical action series from Germany watched by 37 million member households globally, Sweet Home, a Korean language horror show watched by 22 million member households and Alice in Borderland, a sci-fi thriller from Japan watched by 18 million member households.

“We're improving the ability for our members to tell us what languages they want in terms of the content when they're browsing, and there could be different scenarios-- when you're by yourself and you're multilingual, or if you're in a multi-generational household, then that might shift what titles and languages you watch," Peters said adding that the company is also looking at expanding the methods of payment and partnerships that could make the service more accessible and easier for members to find out about and sign up.

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