Over the top (OTT) media services have proved to be the best medium for entertainment, news, sports, etc. since the last few years. Every Internet entertainment medium tries its best to draw subscribers by offering different shows right from documentaries, sports, news, to releasing new films & new content on their respective platforms.
However, with the increase in the price of data plans by three of the leading mobile operators in Indian market by almost 41%, streaming sites like Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon Prime have decided to either cut down on prices of their subscriptions or offer discount deals.
Ahead in this price war is Netflix which has already slashed as much as half the price for subscribers who are ready to commit to the streaming site for at least 3 months.
The price war between these leading streaming platforms is the probability of slow demand of subscribers looking at the increase in the price of data plans. Netflix already captures a market of around 100 million subscribers which is 25 times the customer base as of the current year.
But, a slow demand caused by the hike in data tariffs & the economic slowdown in the country could further make customers more sensitive on the amount they pay for content online.
Not just Netflix, but other leading streaming sites like Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Apple TV+ are also offering subscriptions at a much lower rate & discount deals in India as compared to other markets like the US & Japan. For example, Apple TV+ service is priced at $5 in the US & Japan, whereas in India it is offering the same service at just $1.40 per month.
A boutique investment bank focused early-stage deals in tech and media, Bexley Advisors’s managing director Utkarsh Sinha said Indian users have been using data like running waters without thought & that it is a challenge that it will affect growth as the mobile data boom has been a big factor, driving adoption in India.
Netflix has introduced the new prices as an India-only price whereas; Amazon subsidizes its offering through a package deal.
Sinha also added that pricing would be a key factor in drawing customers & encouraging churn as all streaming platforms are equally competitive in terms of content.
Viu, a much smaller platform for online streaming run by Hong Kong-based PCCW Ltd.’s media arm, decided to quit or exit the market because it lacks the cash to challenge its rivalswho are alreadymore prominent players.
Mihir Shah, India vice president at Media Partners Asia in Mumbai is of the view that though there is a rise in data tariffs still, streaming platforms will continue to grow. Also, social media video sites like TikTok will take a direct hit as watching on wireless services become more expensive.
Streaming platforms are quite forward in spending a lot on creating content as well to offer to Indian viewers.
Reed Hastings, Netflix Chief Executive Officer, said that the company wants to become “more Indian” in its content offering & plans to spend around $420 million to create films & local TV.