Netflix's Bill Holmes on mobile-only subscription plans in India

Netflix has been experimenting with mobile-only plans in India


BALI: When it comes to Netflix, pricing has always generated plenty of conversation and curiosity among consumers. On Wednesday, the streaming giants’ chief business development officer Bill Homes offered some insights into Netflix’s pricing experiments with mobile-only subscription plans in certain Asian markets.

Speaking at APOS 2019 in Bali, Indonesia, Holmes pointed out that the company had gone ahead with mobile-only subscription offerings in Thailand in November. Netflix is also experimenting with similar offerings in India and Malaysia.

"We’re excited about the growth we have seen, but we still have a tremendous way to go. For us, it’s really about constantly looking in each market at what are the next friction points we can address and how do we continue to improve the service to offer more value to our members," he said.

The mobile-only plans are priced at half the cost of a standard full Netflix subscription. Holmes revealed that these attempts have helped the super streamer register more viewing on mobile than traditional screens in some Asian pockets, especially Thailand.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings recently described India as an exciting and super competitive market. The company, during its recent earnings call, said it intends to find a suitable pricing strategy for the country in order to add more subscribers.

Hotstar, which is the biggest over the top platform in India, offers plans for as low as $3 per month. Other formidable competitors like Amazon Prime Video India and ZEE5 among others are also priced lower than Netflix’s basic entry plan in India, which stand at around $7.30.

The difference in pricing within the market has encouraged Netflix to “experiment more with different pricing models that are a better fit for the market,” Holmes said.

“We might find that one works very well, and we’ll roll that out broadly, or we might find that the current way we’re testing it is not effective and we’ll keep working on it, but basically as a plan that is considerably less expensive than our basic plan, about half the price. So we’ll see if that works from the perspective of not just acquiring new members, but also in terms of retention and paid revenue if that is a win for us," the senior executive explained.

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