India One of The Fastest-Growing Markets for Netflix, Says CEO Ted Sarandos

India has added more new subscribers than any other country in the last one year

Highlights
  • Netflix’s CEO is confident that India will become one of the largest markets for the company.
  • The increasing number of smart TV sales in the country is also helping Netflix grow.
  • The change comes as Netflix was initially struggling in India.
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Netflix is gaining momentum in the country, according to Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos, who told the Economic Times that India is one of the fastest-growing markets for the platform. Netflix is the largest OTT platform in the world with over 250 million users.

Despite being the biggest global player in its segment, the platform has struggled to strengthen its grip in India due to strong competition from Disney+Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Sony LIV, and Zee5. But it looks like Netflix is seeing finally seeing some growth in India.

Netflix CEO’s Thoughts on the Indian Market

Sarandos was quoted as saying that India has witnessed a 25% YoY growth in revenue for the company. He also revealed that India added more paid subscribers than any other country globally in the last fiscal year. India’s watch time on the platform also increased by 30% during the same period.

He further added that Netflix finally figured out the right strategy for India after reducing subscription costs a couple of years ago, citing that competitive pricing is necessary for a booming market like India.

To recall, Netflix launched mobile-only subscription plans in 2019 at Rs 199 and then slashed the price to Rs 149 in December 2021. The platform’s decision to reduce entry barrier is attracting more users to become recurring subscribers.

Another big push for Netflix has been its partnerships with telecom operators and internet service providers. Jio and Airtel recently launched two new prepaid recharge plans with a Netflix bundle, and both operators also offer Netflix in their broadband plans as well.

Increasing Number of Smart TVs in India Are Helping Netflix

Netflix Password Sharing

While the mobile consumption of Netflix has been widely successful in the country, Sarandos says that the growth of the platform has been tied to the increasing number of smart TV sales in India. Although mobile playback is more popular among the masses, the real paid relationship with content comes on TV sets, he added.

For reference, smart TV sales in India have seen a growth of 8% in the first half of 2023. Companies like Xiaomi and OnePlus have contributed significantly to this growth with their affordable smart TV offerings. The market is expected to grow at a similar rate in the next few months.

Most of the popular Netflix titles are available in 4K resolution along with HDR and other options. However, such content can only be enjoyed on a TV, as smartphones, tablets, and laptops are held back by limited-resolution screens. The immersive experience of a TV helps people enjoy the content at its full potential, which does prove beneficial for platforms such as a Netflix. Keep in mind, that its Rs 199 plan allows users to watch the content on TV, though it is limited to 720p.