Netflix, the on-demand video streaming service, on Wednesday announced the launch of its services in 130 new countries, including India. The launch was announced by the company’s co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “While you have been listening to me talk, the Netflix service has gone live in nearly every country of the world, but China, where we also hope to be in the future,” Hastings said in his keynote address. In India, Netflix’s three plans: Basic, standard and premium are priced at Rs 500, Rs 650 and Rs 800 per month, respectively.
Founded by Hastings and co-founder Marc Randolph, Netflix first began offering online movie rentals in 1997 and launched its streaming service in 2007. The company, which has a market capitalisation of $46 billlion, claims to have 70 million paid subscribers. Besides its catalogue of licensed feature films and series, subscribers can also access Netflix’s original content, which includes popular series like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and Narcos. “We’re now working with local storytellers right now in Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Colombia, France, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the UK and the US and that list is only going to grow over time,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix.
The Indian video streaming space has seen a flurry of activity in the recent past. Following the launch of Zee Group’s Ditto TV in 2012, numerous services, big and small, have entered the fray. These include Hotstar, Hooq, Spuul, Muvizz and BigFlix among others. However, the trend in the Indian video streaming space has generally veered towards a model where much of the premium content is available for free. Netflix’s long anticipated entry into the Indian market is set to test the appeal and the viability of a paid subscription model, say experts.