Netflix is no doubt the most popular streaming service in India. But the truth be told, it’s struggling in India. So, what is different in Indian Market that it is challenging a giant like Netflix.
Lets have a look at its competitors and what are they doing differently.
· Prime Video (Owned by Amazon)
· Hotstar (Disney-Star Group Venture)
· Zee5 ( Owned by Zee Group)
· SonyLIV (owned by Sony India)
Netflix is priced at Rs 500 (cheapest option) in India for a month, while a Hotstar membership comes at around Rs 1400 for a year, while the same for prime, Zee5 & Sony LIV is around Rs 1000/year. While Hotstar has the advantage with streaming of live cricket matches & IPL, Prime provides exclusives deals and free delivery along with other benefits to its prime user. Zee5 & Sony LIV enable streaming of their prime channels like ZeeTV & Sony TV along with exclusive content.
*Netflix did introduce a mobile only plan but it was also priced at Rs. 199/month, which is still expensive by Indian market standards.
Another major drawback for Netflix would be content- they do have some great shows, but they are very limited. Lack of Indian content could also be a case of concern for them. Prime on the other hand, have really got to the nerve of Indian users, they have made back to back binge worthy shows, whether it be Inside Edge, Paatal Lok, Family Man, Panchayat. One can always find subscribers actively questioning Prime on social media regarding release date of Mirzapur season 2- it only adds up to the hype.
Hotstar has had its own share of success, with shows like Hostages and Special ops Rocking the charts. Moreover, Prime and Hotstar has been quiet lucky in terms of International content as well, while the former boasts of streaming shows The Office & Suits, Hotstar has the likes of Game of Thrones & Simpsons. Another trick, which Prime is magically able to put out of its bag is streaming rights of some very successful Hindi movies, which makes its price point worth every penny- Zee5, is also able to do a little sparkle in this regard.
Some extreme violence, nudity and sex scenes in the foreign channels like Netflix and Amazon Prime have escaped the eyes of Indian government so far. It is quite possible all of these channels would be put under some scanner /censorship once the conservative Indians raise the issue in Indian Parliament
The coin does have a flip side, Netflix does have a very easy to use interface and superb picture quality. So, it’s for time to tell whether Netflix be able to deliver in India or would it be just another contender in a market with more than 35 other players.