Fans of video streaming get ready to cheer, because Netflix — the US-based streaming behemoth — is reportedly opening up shop in India. Yup folks, news pouring in from various quarters has confirmed the rumors that had been floating in the air and it is very likely that Netflix may make an official announcement of its arrival in India at the trade show CES 2016, which is scheduled to begin next week.
The announcement is particularly significant since it comes at a time when the surging interest in 4G services is promising to bring about substantial improvements to the internet speeds — the poor quality of which was a major reason why India — where 15,418 minutes of video were streamed or downloaded every second in 2014, was hitherto ignored by Netflix and others.
In fact, according to reports from the Hindubusinessline the company has entered into partnership with a yet-unnamed telecom operator and will be providing its services using the said carriers 4G network. This does shorten the number of candidates since Airtel and Reliance — unless some carrier has been secretly developing 4G — remain the only two providers in India, who are providing — or working to provide — anything approaching 4G speeds.
Along with India, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan are the other Asian countries that are on Netflix’s radar as part of its bid to expand into international markets.
Improving penetration of the internet along with the fact that Video consumption in India is increasing in leaps and bound may be what prompted Netflix to overcome its initial reluctance to enter the market. The prices offered by the company in the US range around $8.99 per month for viewing movies and TV shows on two screens at the same time. Considering that it is safe to assume that prices for the Indian market will be lower, the service is not shaping up to be particularly expensive either.
While the company can be expected to face stiff resistance from pre-existing services — including Bigflix (Reliance), Youtube’s Movie rentals and Singapore based Hooq — Netflix will probably rely upon the cutting edge technology deployed by it along with its considerable experience in handling subscription based streaming to hold its own.