Indians among top commute streamers for Netflix


MUMBAI: India is clearly a nation of commute streamers with internet users making the most of their travel time by binge watching. At 88 per cent, Indians are the second-highest public bingers in the world, just a tad behind Mexico with 89 per cent, according to a survey report by Netflix.

Despite being in proximity to strangers, Indians don’t stifle their emotions and end up gasping, laughing and even crying in public. This public activity has been aided by the ability to download series and films for later viewing. Indians are amongst the top mobile downloaders in the world for Netflix content. Binge watching grew by 17 per cent from last year’s 71 per cent.

According to the survey, Narcos, Stranger Things and 13 Reasons Why were the top watched shows in 2017 in India. Indians binge watch in three days, which is faster than the global average of four days. Though mobile viewing is prime, a third (34 per cent) of Netflix viewing in India was through connected TVs.
To gain ground in India, the streaming service launched a slew of new relatable shows such as Sacred Games, Selection Day, Again, and Bard of Blood in association with Red Chillies Entertainment; the first kids original series from India, Mighty Little Bheem and Love Per Square Foot, the first mainstream film from India to be exclusively available on Netflix. These are local stories that will travel across the globe, finding an audience wherever Netflix is available.

Going into 2018, Netflix eyes more partnerships with local content creators. Netflix VP communications-Asia Jessica Lee says, “We are committed to working with producers, creators, talent and crew in India to create more great content. We are constantly innovating to enhance our member experience to be able to better serve members and provide more control over their watching experience.”

Lee is thrilled at the response India has given to Netflix content. She says, “We are pleased with how we have grown in the first two years in India and have witnessed a huge appetite for entertainment and plenty of fan enthusiasm. We have focused primarily on content, partnerships and technology to build a great Netflix experience in the country. In the past year, we have more than doubled our catalogue in India, creating a compelling and growing content library encompassing original and licenced titles.”

Overcoming the issue of low quality of internet in the country, Netflix has invested in its own content delivery network, lowering the cost and boosting efficiency for it as well as for ISP partners. Lee says, “Our open connect programme supports hundreds of large and small ISPs to directly interconnect with the Netflix network for free in regional locations rather than going through third-party transit providers. We have been working on local partnerships to make sure that Netflix is even more accessible in India. Over 2017, we launched partnerships with Airtel Digital TV, Videocon and Vodafone to make it much easier for Indian consumers to watch Netflix, whether on a set-top box or on a mobile.”

Lee opines that people’s tastes are broad even in an individual market like India. “By using advanced algorithms, we can make tailored recommendations based on individual users’ tastes. Since we are across 190 countries, the algorithms now draw upon a much larger audience of over 109 million members. The feature of personalisation and discovery is now even more dynamic and is only going to get better as our content library grows,” she says.

Netflix members around the world watched more than 140 million hours of TV shows, movies, documentaries and more per day - that’s about one billion hours per week. The average global member watched 60 movies on Netflix this year.

Also read:

Netflix and chill but pay more now

Netflix expects rapid content growth from India

Netflix plans to become leading producer & distributor of high-quality Indian content

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