#CES2016 IT & Web-tech News

Netflix Officially Launches In India And 130 New Countries, Plans Start At ₹500 A Month

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During its opening keynote on Wednesday during the CES 2016 consumer electronics trade show in Vegas, Netflix gave us all very big news. The company announced that its services would now be available in India, as a part of a staggering 130 new countries expansion drive.

Until now, Netflix was available in 60 countries around the globe. With today’s expansion, the service will be available in  India, Russia, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Nigeria, Singapore, Turkey, Indonesia, South Korea and others.

Today you are witnessing the birth of a new global Internet TV network,

said Reed Hastings, the company’s CEO. 

With this launch, consumers around the world — from Singapore to St. Petersburg, from San Francisco to Sao Paulo — will be able to enjoy TV shows and movies simultaneously — no more waiting. With the help of the Internet, we are putting power in consumers’ hands to watch whenever, wherever and on whatever device.

The service though, isn’t yet available in China.

“China is very restrictive when it comes to foreign-based media firms, so it won’t be easy,” he said.

Along with this, Hastings also confirmed that  that Netflix would begin offering HDR (high dynamic range) content later this year.

Netflix has almost 69 million subscribers now and this number will skyrocket as soon as the service starts rolling out in the new countries.

The service will now also support Arabic, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese along with the 17 languages Netflix was already available in.

There are other streaming services available in each of these countries but Netflix has always been better than the rest. May it be user experience or plain subscriptions, Netflix has always been the horse to bet on. And given the one month free trial, most users are easily attracted towards Netflix.

Indian streaming services have also taken the entry of Netflix into the Indian market positively. Hungama Play, for instance, announced a massive expansion in its catalog recently and the company believes that Netflix will help raise awareness about streaming services as well as grow the market in India because of its global influence.

Speaking on behalf of Hungama Play, CEO Siddhartha Roy told The Tech Portal,

The incredible growth of smartphones in India has made the market big enough for multiple video streaming services to thrive simultaneously. We are glad that global players like Netflix are keen on entering the Indian market, since this will contribute in raising awareness about the streaming services as well as grow the market as a whole.

Hungama offers HD streaming in a large bandwidth of devices in India for ₹249 per month, almost half of the ₹500 Netflix is initially charging. But then, in terms of user experience, the latter will surely be more user friendly and considering that Netflix is global, and the best in its field, it has the largest library in the world. We can also expect localization, once the service enters the country.

The launch falls in line with reports that had surfaced days ago, about a possible India launch announcement from Netflix, coming in CES 2016 keynote. 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, yet.


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