In early September, when American streaming service giant Netflix joined hands with cable broadband provider Hathway to provide consumers access to its content through the Hathway set-top box, it was billed as a win-win for both. However, dig a bit deeper into it, and it seems like Hathway might benefit more out of it. Reason: Impending disruption from Reliance’s JioGiaFiber.
“For Hathway, the tie-up with Netflix gives it a much-needed boost to reinvent itself to fight Jio,” says Abneesh Roy, senior vice president of institutional equities at Edelweiss Securities. Cable players in India, he lets on, are staring at a massive disruption that Jio is set to unleash through its aggressive broadband play. Though the tie-up is a move in the right direction, Hathway has to build more moats to fend off Jio. “Out of the 10 million subscribers, Hathway has only 0.8 million broadband users,” says Roy. “So only a fraction would be able to get access to Netflix.”
As far as Netflix is concerned, its sedate growth in India has to do with its inability to get the right pricing
in the country. While globally, Netflix is priced less than DTH and cable players, in India it’s not the case, informs Roy. “Another challenge for Netflix is lack of broadcaster content.” Unless it beefs up its original content with regional languages, English users won’t be of much help in giving them wide traction in India, he adds.
(This story appears in the 28 September, 2018 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)