Netflix Tests Low-Cost Mobile-Only Plan

Apple TV streaming

The country has seen the number of smartphone users grow nationwide from 199 million in 2015 to 340 million at the end of 2018, according to eMarketer.

This new tier is a mobile-only plan and is now being tested with a limited number of users, according to the Economic Times (via Engadget).

The plan is for only mobile devices which comes at a cost of Rs 250 per month.

We can envision the streaming service having multiple plans like Netflix does now, which ranges from $9 (£5.99 / AU$9.99) per month for a Standard plan to $16 (£9.99 / AU$17.99) for its 4K Premium plan.

With its mobile-only plan, Netflix will allow users to access standard definition (SD) video content on a single screen (mobile or tablet) at a time, media reports claimed.

What's interesting is that Netflix hasn't denied the report (it wouldn't have mattered anyway), supplying a fairly standard press statement about how "different options in select countries" will continue to be tested in the near future to find the best ways of delivering premium content on mobile devices "for a lower price". While the company is highlighting that "not everyone will see these options and we may never roll out these specific plans beyond the tests", something tells us this particular experiment means more than others conducted relatively recently.

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As it awaits competition from Apple's upcoming streaming service which is set to go live on March 25, Netflix has started testing an affordable subscription plan for users in India.

Last week, Todd Yellin, Product Vice President at Netflix gave a keynote in Mumbai addressing company's future plans of expanding interactive TV shows and Netflix original content from India on its platform.

It nearly goes without saying that Apple's streaming service should have support for 4K playback, in line with other streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. As of last November, Netflix boasted 137 million subscribers globally, and its Asia subscribers have already surpassed the 58 million US users.

However, even the trial mobile plan is pricier than rival video streaming services in the country. ZEE5 is available for Rs 99 per month which translates into Rs 3.2 per day. All of these services, moreover, offer significantly discounted annual plans.

Amazon Prime Video, along with a slew of home-grown OTT players like Hotstar, ALTBalaji, ZEE5, Voot, etc, are now enjoying a king's share in India's video-streaming market, but the tables could turn soon. It has also commissioned around 12 original series and 12 original local language films.

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