Decoding Netflix CEO Reed Hasting's New Found Love for India
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India is currently enjoying the limelight with a host of international business leaders making their way into the country. Starting from Donald Trump Jr. to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, each of them expressed why India is an incredibly important market for their business. Netflix co-founder and CEO, Reed Hastings, has also joined the list of the leaders who are in awe of Indian firms.
Reliance Jio in Every Other Country:
In an interview with a leading daily, the serial entrepreneur shared that there should be a telecom operator like Reliance Jio in every country. Undoubtedly, Jio can claim much credit for spurring the growth in the OTT market by giving low-cost internet plans to every nook and corner of the country. In 2016, the launch of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio started a fierce price war in the telecom market. The company offered free internet and call for almost a year.
Hastings said that Reliance Jio has been a transformational network in India and has brought down data cost massively. There are other people around the world having that kind of impact and can get people to use the internet more. The biggest challenge in the OTT space is the lack of internet connectivity and poor speed. Hastings wishes to see a Reliance Jio in every country.
Next ‘100’ Million Users From India:
The rise in smartphone ownership and falling data costs are some of the major factors fueling the growth of OTT players in India. The battle between video streaming spaces has already intensified, with companies experimenting with edgy digital content and format. Since its launch in India in 2016, Netflix in no time has captured a significant market share.
Hastings expects the next level of growth to come from international markets, where countries such as India will have a significant contribution.
During his visit to India for the Economic Times Global Business, the 57-year-old entrepreneur pointed out that India is a key part of international subscription growth. He added that the country alone has the potential of over 100 million members. Hastings also emphasized that India is very, very relevant to Netflix with thousands of years of storytelling and incredible film traditions.
In India, the content space is only fixed to ad-supported television. Hastings told that Netflix costs INR 500-800 a month in India, which is more than cable TV subscription cost, but this is because Pay TV cost in the country is subsidized by ads, while Netflix is an advertisement free network. At present, Netflix allows viewers to access unlimited content at prices starting INR 500 a month.