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Netflix CEO excited about Disney’s entry into OTT

For the first 100 million in India, Netflix will focus on English entertainment consumers

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MUMBAI: Netflix has a new market threat – the upcoming streaming service Disney+. Despite all the market speculation, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings seems calm and relaxed. Hastings has said in an interaction with ET Now that he is excited about Disney’ launch and even praised it saying that the service looks good. He also mentioned that the service is thriving already in a highly competitive space amid HBO, YouTube, Hotstar, Amazon and linear TV.

In terms of the Indian market, where the company is looking for the next 100 million subscribers, Hastings thinks they have been very successful in three years. After a free trial of one month, Netflix charges Rs 500 per month, which Hastings thinks is totally worthy for the high quality content the service offers as people in India pay Rs 200-250 ticket for one movie. He admits that there are free services like YouTube and cheaper options like Hotstar and Amazon but the Netflix boss is confident about his content.

While Hastings does not deny the fact that with the current pricing it’s tough to penetrate mass audience, he thinks it is good enough for the first 100 million. For the first segment of target audience, Netflix is really focused on the fragment that watches English entertainment. Later on, the company will explore Hindi and other regional languages after getting into that market properly. He also said Netflix will have more pricing options in future but not for the next couple of years.

“You know, we are the only one in the world with Sacred Games, House of Cards, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. So, all our content is exclusive and if we can build excitement around our content which is a unique proposition, then we will have great success. When you subscribe to Netflix, it’s not the only thing you do, you may use YouTube, Hotstar, other entertainment apps, so it’s one of the things that makes you happy,” Hastings commented.

After Netflix’s Q3 results, there were reports that Netflix may slightly tilt its strategy when it comes to original movie release. There may be a number of Netflix originals which will have limited theatre screening.  While asked about that, Hastings said it already releases movies in film festivals and the OTT  is only an extension of that.

As many investors are betting hard on Netflix, the CEO was asked about the reason. Taking the example of India where online content is exploding after Jio’s entry, he said that it is happening everywhere else in the world. People are using more internet thanks to low cost data which is really propelling the growth of services like Netflix.

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