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What is causing Netflix to fail in India? The pricing isn’t the only culprit

What is causing Netflix to fail in India? The pricing isn’t the only culprit

Movies and television programs have always been our primary source of entertainment as humans. Two decades ago, television was the primary means of obtaining our daily dose of entertainment. Flash Streaming services have mostly replaced television in the last two decades. People are increasingly turning to OTT platforms for entertainment, and these streaming services are providing them with regular movies, series, reality programs, and everything else that may keep them entertained.

Netflix is the most popular streaming service. Ted Sarados and Reed Hastings established Netflix in the year 1997. It began delivering streaming services in 2007 and hasn’t looked back since. Almost no one hasn’t heard of Netflix and hasn’t used it at least once to view a movie or a series. Netflix claims to have over 222 million members from across the world. As a result, it is reasonable to assert that it is the most widely used streaming service.

However, the most popular streaming platform has suddenly run into some significant difficulties, and they are the only ones to blame. In the first quarter, Netflix hoped to gain 2.5 million new customers. On the other hand, Netflix has lost over 200k subscribers in only a few months, and its stock has plunged by 37% in a single day. This article will discuss what’s wrong with Netflix, why it’s losing members, and why its stock has plummeted for the first time in a decade. So without further ado, let’s get this party started.

 

What Are Netflix’s Reasons for the Share Price Drop?

fail

Netflix has identified three explanations for the loss of its members following the dip in share prices:

  • Price Increases

Netflix has upped the cost of a monthly subscription. Subscribers in the United Kingdom are alleged to be paying three times as much as they were two years ago for the identical service. The situation has attracted the attention of many subscribers. Although Netflix stated that the price rise aims to give subscribers additional high-quality material and experiences, the people in the United Kingdom and Ireland were not pleased with the unexpected increase in rates.

  • The exit of Netflix from Russia

Like many other businesses, Netflix has halted operations in the nation due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Another key reason for the platform’s loss is the Russia-Ukraine conflict. After Russia declared war on Ukraine, Netflix halted all of its services in the nation. Because of the intensification of the competition, Netflix has lost almost 700,000 customers.

  • Passwords are shared

According to Netflix, the loss of members is also due to sharing passwords with other homes. According to statistics, with password sharing, 100 million homes are using the streaming service for free. As previously said, Netflix has over 222 million customers, many of which share their credentials with friends, family, and relatives.

 

What Went Wrong with Netflix?

While in this circumstance, some of Netflix’s decisions have backfired and are frequently criticized by customers. These are the choices:

  • Promotion on the Platform

Netflix, as a platform, has never featured advertisements in its services, and its brand value has always been about improving the consumer experience. Unlike other streaming services, Netflix shunned advertising because it felt it could perform better without it. The CEO of the streaming behemoth indicated that they want to include advertising on the platform in one or two years, signalling a significant shift in the site’s beliefs.

In contrast to their prior stance, they said they would not employ advertising. This is in direct opposition to their brand ideals since they have prioritized client satisfaction. Netflix was believed to have lost over 2 lakh members, prompting this move. It is, according to them, to reduce the subscription fee.

  • Crackdown on Password Sharing

This is most likely the streaming giant’s worst miscalculation. As previously stated, Netflix has over 200 million customers worldwide, yet 100 million households share their account credentials with others. Password sharing was never an issue, and this was one of the reasons for the streaming platform’s popularity and how user-friendly it was. Netflix claims that password sharing is the cause of their membership price hike; thus, they have chosen to prohibit password sharing from reducing subscription costs.

  • Being Irrational

Treating clients like criminals is the worst thing a company can do. As previously stated, Netflix is on the approach of prohibiting households in the United States from exchanging passwords. On the other hand, Netflix has been accused of fining accounts in Costa Rica, Peru, and Chile that share their password with others. This is highly upsetting and appears to be unjust to different cultures throughout the world, and it tarnishes the brand’s reputation.

  • Bad PR

It takes a long time to develop a brand’s reputation, but it just takes a second to destroy it. Netflix has always prioritized customer service and entertainment. However, recent rumours of password crackdowns, increased membership prices, and the introduction of adverts on the site indicate that they have become profit-driven and are no longer consumer-friendly. Consequently, the harm has already been done, and the company’s public relations department has failed to execute its job correctly, resulting in such an uproar. Customers are enraged by the fact that they are altering their primary approach.

  • Cease to Innovate

Netflix is well-known for its excellent and original content. People think, however, that the streaming service has stopped producing distinctive and inventive material in recent years. They’re making stuff that’s boring and repetitious. In this manner, they lose sight of what made them successful in the first place.

 

What Will Netflix’s Next Move Be?

netflix india: netflix's lack of success in india 'frustrating', cofounder reed hastings says - the economic times

Netflix is now in severe financial difficulty. Netflix has yet to provide a firm timeline for when it will cease losing customers. It’s the first time the streaming behemoth has suffered such a setback in a decade. In reality, the worst is yet to come since Netflix has already said that the present situation will result in more significant subscriber losses.

It is expected to lose another 2 million members in the next quarter. Netflix is presently preparing to implement its plan to introduce adverts and prohibit password sharing on the network. However, it is unclear if these two measures would be able to save Netflix or will further exacerbate its decline.

 

What is causing Netflix to fail in India? The pricing isn’t the only culprit

Netflix just reduced its membership pricing across all plans on December 13, 2021, reducing the cheapest plan to INR 149 per month — however, this is still insufficient.
While Netflix focuses on fresh content, programming partnerships, and localization, the market’s pain concerns are clear — particularly indigenization; it also lacks the added perks that two of its biggest competitors provide (ad-supported free content and add-on service).

With such a strong foundation in countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, one would assume that Netflix would be a sure bet in India; so what went wrong with the company’s strategy?
In a post-result webcast last week, Netflix CXOs emphasized the FAANG company’s financial prowess. During the webcast, the team admits to being baffled by the Indian market, adding that they are currently researching and evaluating the best market match.

Even though the comment was made in jest, it has ignited a debate among Indians over why the firm has been “unsuccessful” in India. In reality, what irritates Indian viewers is that, although Netflix focuses on fresh content, programming partnerships, and localization, the market’s pain concerns are visible — particularly indigenization.

With a foundation as strong as Netflix’s, one would imagine that the streaming service would be a surefire hit in India. However, slightly over 6 million customers in more than half a decade in the nation reveal Netflix’s predicament.

 

Is Netflix Targeting The Right Bharat At The Right Price?

why has netflix not been able to crack the indian market? | business standard news

So far, Netflix has retained its position as a flagship provider, resulting in excessive prices. The cheapest Netflix package, which costs INR 149 per month, permits only one user account to be used on one device, either a smartphone or a tablet. It also offers 4K streaming across four concurrent streams with the INR 649 a month premium plan.
Without context, these figures appear acceptable, even realistic to some extent.

After all, compared to its global price [$10-20 (INR 750 – INR 1500) in the US and £6 – £14 (INR 600 – INR 1400) in the UK], Netflix offers the lowest service in India. However, when critical macroeconomic criteria are considered, it is clear why Netflix does not appeal to the typical Indian as a feasible alternative, even though India is one of the world’s largest content marketplaces.

According to a CSE research conducted by Azim Premji University, an extra 230 million Indians plunged into poverty after the COVID-19 outbreak. Another sobering statistic is that in India, the wealth gap is enormous: the wealthiest 100 Indians own as much as the lowest 550 million.

See also  Indian researchers built the country’s very first native microprocessor

However, this is not the India that Netflix is aiming for. Netflix is not an option in India, where the average monthly pay is barely INR 32,800. As things stand, Netflix will have to rethink its pricing approach to compete with cable, which costs an average of INR 300–350 per month in India, compared to $64.41 in the United States (INR 4,830).

While the primary data demonstrates that India is a price-sensitive country where customers seek value for their money, it is not primarily searching for ‘free.’ India has progressed beyond being a price-sensitive market by 2021, with more customers opting for premium content. According to a BCG-CII annual M&E research, the 55-60 per cent year-over-year SVoD (subscription-based video on demand) spike in 2020, with more than half of new subscribers likely to keep the service/s.

 

So, what’s holding Netflix back from becoming a successful company?

fortune india: business news, strategy, finance and corporate insight

  • Bundled services or ad-supported OTTs compete with Netflix in India:

Interestingly, even though Netflix’s cost is far superior to other OTT platforms in India, it does not provide any additional features. On the other hand, its competitors are not making the same error. Subscriptions to Amazon Prime include not just video-on-demand programming but also free shipping and exclusive Amazon, Amazon Prime Music, and Kindle Unlimited discounts.

Amazon Prime also regularly licenses major Bollywood films like Salman Khan’s Bharat and Alia Bhatt’s Raazi and delivers material in numerous Indian languages, making it a considerably more profitable option for anyone searching for content in Indian languages. Prime subscribers can access eight other more minor streaming services on its crowded main page – programs, films, reality TV, and documentaries – with a single payment option for all.

Disney+Hotstar, on the other hand, has partnerships with television broadcasters and has the rights to stream several Indian channels and the whole Disney+ and HBO libraries. Furthermore, Disney+Hotstar has the rights to the English Premier League and the Indian Premier League, two of India’s most popular sporting events. IPL 2020 allegedly brings in 7.2 million views on Day 1 alone for Hotstar.

Furthermore, both offer package agreements with all three Indian carriers, making them significantly more user-friendly. Disney+Hotstar provides prepaid recharges from Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea, while Amazon Prime also offers Jio and Airtel recharges. On the other hand, Netflix is only accessible on Vodafone’s postpaid plans starting at INR 1,099 and more.

  • The Piracy Conundrum in the Content Conundrum

Netflix, which has spent over $3 billion on original and licensed local material, has followed the same strategy as it does in the United States and other countries: it worked with Indian studios to provide local content while also splurging on pushing ‘foreign’ original content on Indians.

Netflix’s lack of localization in the Indian market is one of the most aggravating aspects of the service. It has a slew of relationships with Indian production firms and has produced India-specific content, but it isn’t enough. Netflix focuses on fresh material, which is commendable, but it lacks indigenization. When Netflix reimagined Indian content in its image, conservative groups slammed the OTT giant, accusing it of being politically motivated, launching an attack on Indian culture, or considering India a third-world country based on a few elements of India-specific content pieces such as Sacred Games, Suitable Boy, or Leila.

While the Indian film industry is evolving, Indians still regard video programming as a source of amusement rather than a moral police force. Again, moral policing isn’t unique to Netflix, but the company has created localization based on a stereotype about Indians. On the other side, Amazon Prime Video, one of Netflix’s main competitors, provides a staggeringly large selection of television in six Indian languages and dubbing. Family Man, its action drama, was the most-watched Hindi streaming show last year, and Mirzapur, a rural gangland tale, has become a countrywide hit.

While certain aspects of the two presentations were contentious, Prime Video also has programming that generally discusses unusual and pleasant themes, such as Made In Heaven and Four More Shots Please. According to Netflix’s financial filings, Netflix and Disney+Hotstar each possessed the rights to eight of the top 20 most searched movies and TV series on Google.

However, India is a cinema-first market, particularly for vernacular and Bollywood films, and here is where Netflix’s strategy falls short of Hotstar. Disney+Hotstar took the lead in this, releasing films that could not be shown on the big screen because of the country’s epidemic. Netflix must recognize that categorizing material for Indians, such as love triangles, explicitness, nudity, and not generalizing ‘masala’ content (although it may appear sanitary), is not the best content strategy.

To accommodate the next 100 million Indians, Netflix must be a welcoming venue for the ‘non-elite,’ who want to unwind after a long weekend by viewing something short. Experts also predict that demand for content localization via suitable cultural allusions and vernacular material in local languages would drive development in the OTT sector (particularly in India). Services like dubbing, subtitling, translation and audio descriptions can help.

While Netflix focuses on dubbing material for Indian audiences, other companies (notably Amazon Prime Video) attempt to diversify their content offerings. Regional OTT providers such as STAGE, YuppTV, Viu, Addatimes, and MXPlayer, among others, compete with Netflix in the same way. Looking at the diversity of material available on Indian streaming applications, content localisation entails not just a language change but also a cultural transformation, such as the portrayal of relevant characters, dimensions, and tales.

Off-topic, Telegram has quickly become one of the most popular communication systems, thanks to certain unique features that set it apart from competitors like WhatsApp. The capacity to deliver files up to 2 GB in size to an end-user and the ability to create channels are two of these characteristics. This has led to widespread piracy on the site, with pirates creating Telegram groups and uploading all of the episodes. It has become a popular means of “streaming” shows in India.

While pirating content is immoral, Indians fundamentally want to keep up with the craze without breaking the bank. In this way, Telegram is a superior solution for people who wish to avoid FOMO (fear of missing out). While piracy is not confined to Netflix, Indian viewers prefer to pay for other OTTs because of the available bundled services. As a result, it’s reasonable to conclude that Netflix would not be as successful as it is now if it weren’t for piracy of its material.

 

How far behind Netflix is it?

top 10 ott platforms in india

The Corona issue was unquestionably the most critical growth factor in the video-on-demand market. And thanks to the internet infrastructure, a growing fondness for vernacular material, and the developing popularity of content live streaming, the ground was prepared for a leap to the next level.

Disney+Hotstar, along with Netflix, Zee5, Prime Video, Voot, SonyLiv, and AltBalaji, was the most downloaded OTT platform among the well-known seven, according to Inc42’s OTT performance blog from the ‘2021 In Review’ series. Netflix was only followed by Alt Balaji on the list, with only 17 million downloads in 2021.

According to Media Partners Asia, Disney+Hotstar might overtake YouTube as India’s second-highest revenue-earning video platform by 2025. Despite a projected decline to $175 million in 2020 due to the epidemic’s economic impact, Disney+Hotstar revenue is estimated to climb from $216 million in 2020 to $902 million in 2025. Netflix India had $205.43 million in revenue in the fiscal year that ended in March 2021.

In terms of market share, Disney+Hotstar isn’t far behind Netflix’s 29 per cent stake in India, with 25 per cent of the market. All Marvel Cinematic Universe material is owned by Disney+Hotstart (whose movies and TV shows are currently leading in watch time, user and fanbase and revenue).

Even though Netflix is pricey, it does not provide enough value for the money that consumers are paying right now. It lacks the extra benefits offered by two of its biggest competitors, providing Netflix with a significant competitive disadvantage in the long run.

According to a poll conducted by Accenture, as many as 74 per cent of Indian users believe the material they are paying for is too pricey. In addition, 46% of Indian consumers expect to cut back on media and entertainment expenditure in the coming year. Netflix, which has the highest membership fee among Indian OTTs, is set to bear the burden of dwindling SVOD usage.

 

Conclusion

Netflix is succumbing to the present global financial scenario, as evidenced by its stock having dropped for the first time in a decade. Their handling of the matter and lack of good PR make it appear as if they are solely concerned with their bottom line. As a result, their choice to introduce adverts and password enforcement makes them appear to be transitioning from a customer-centric corporation to a money-hungry one. Netflix would lose more customers and maybe its USP if proper actions were not taken sooner.

What is causing Netflix to fail in India? The pricing isn’t the only culprit

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Movies and television programs have always been our primary source of entertainment as humans. Two decades ago, television was the primary means of obtaining our daily dose of entertainment. Flash Streaming services have mostly replaced television in the last two decades. People are increasingly turning to OTT platforms for entertainment, and these streaming services are providing them with regular movies, series, reality programs, and everything else that may keep them entertained.

Netflix is the most popular streaming service. Ted Sarados and Reed Hastings established Netflix in the year 1997. It began delivering streaming services in 2007 and hasn’t looked back since. Almost no one hasn’t heard of Netflix and hasn’t used it at least once to view a movie or a series. Netflix claims to have over 222 million members from across the world. As a result, it is reasonable to assert that it is the most widely used streaming service.

However, the most popular streaming platform has suddenly run into some significant difficulties, and they are the only ones to blame. In the first quarter, Netflix hoped to gain 2.5 million new customers. On the other hand, Netflix has lost over 200k subscribers in only a few months, and its stock has plunged by 37% in a single day. This article will discuss what’s wrong with Netflix, why it’s losing members, and why its stock has plummeted for the first time in a decade. So without further ado, let’s get this party started.

 

What Are Netflix’s Reasons for the Share Price Drop?

the best netflix originals are essential viewing | british gq

Netflix has identified three explanations for the loss of its members following the dip in share prices:

  • Price Increases

Netflix has upped the cost of a monthly subscription. Subscribers in the United Kingdom are alleged to be paying three times as much as they were two years ago for the identical service. The situation has attracted the attention of many subscribers. Although Netflix stated that the price rise aims to give subscribers additional high-quality material and experiences, the people in the United Kingdom and Ireland were not pleased with the unexpected increase in rates.

  • The exit of Netflix from Russia

Like many other businesses, Netflix has halted operations in the nation due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Another key reason for the platform’s loss is the Russia-Ukraine conflict. After Russia declared war on Ukraine, Netflix halted all of its services in the nation. Because of the intensification of the competition, Netflix has lost almost 700,000 customers.

  • Passwords are shared

According to Netflix, the loss of members is also due to sharing passwords with other homes. According to statistics, with password sharing, 100 million homes are using the streaming service for free. As previously said, Netflix has over 222 million customers, many of which share their credentials with friends, family, and relatives.

 

What Went Wrong with Netflix?

While in this circumstance, some of Netflix’s decisions have backfired and are frequently criticized by customers. These are the choices:

  • Promotion on the Platform

Netflix, as a platform, has never featured advertisements in its services, and its brand value has always been about improving the consumer experience. Unlike other streaming services, Netflix shunned advertising because it felt it could perform better without it. The CEO of the streaming behemoth indicated that they want to include advertising on the platform in one or two years, signalling a significant shift in the site’s beliefs.

In contrast to their prior stance, they said they would not employ advertising. This is in direct opposition to their brand ideals since they have prioritized client satisfaction. Netflix was believed to have lost over 2 lakh members, prompting this move. It is, according to them, to reduce the subscription fee.

  • Crackdown on Password Sharing

This is most likely the streaming giant’s worst miscalculation. As previously stated, Netflix has over 200 million customers worldwide, yet 100 million households share their account credentials with others. Password sharing was never an issue, and this was one of the reasons for the streaming platform’s popularity and how user-friendly it was. Netflix claims that password sharing is the cause of their membership price hike; thus, they have chosen to prohibit password sharing from reducing subscription costs.

  • Being Irrational

Treating clients like criminals is the worst thing a company can do. As previously stated, Netflix is on the approach of prohibiting households in the United States from exchanging passwords. On the other hand, Netflix has been accused of fining accounts in Costa Rica, Peru, and Chile that share their password with others. This is highly upsetting and appears to be unjust to different cultures throughout the world, and it tarnishes the brand’s reputation.

  • Bad PR

It takes a long time to develop a brand’s reputation, but it just takes a second to destroy it. Netflix has always prioritized customer service and entertainment. However, recent rumours of password crackdowns, increased membership prices, and the introduction of adverts on the site indicate that they have become profit-driven and are no longer consumer-friendly. Consequently, the harm has already been done, and the company’s public relations department has failed to execute its job correctly, resulting in such an uproar. Customers are enraged by the fact that they are altering their primary approach.

  • Cease to Innovate

Netflix is well-known for its excellent and original content. People think, however, that the streaming service has stopped producing distinctive and inventive material in recent years. They’re making stuff that’s boring and repetitious. In this manner, they lose sight of what made them successful in the first place.

 

What Will Netflix’s Next Move Be?

netflix india: netflix's lack of success in india 'frustrating', cofounder reed hastings says - the economic times

Netflix is now in severe financial difficulty. Netflix has yet to provide a firm timeline for when it will cease losing customers. It’s the first time the streaming behemoth has suffered such a setback in a decade. In reality, the worst is yet to come since Netflix has already said that the present situation will result in more significant subscriber losses.

It is expected to lose another 2 million members in the next quarter. Netflix is presently preparing to implement its plan to introduce adverts and prohibit password sharing on the network. However, it is unclear if these two measures would be able to save Netflix or will further exacerbate its decline.

 

What is causing Netflix to fail in India? The pricing isn’t the only culprit

Netflix just reduced its membership pricing across all plans on December 13, 2021, reducing the cheapest plan to INR 149 per month — however, this is still insufficient.
While Netflix focuses on fresh content, programming partnerships, and localization, the market’s pain concerns are clear — particularly indigenization; it also lacks the added perks that two of its biggest competitors provide (ad-supported free content and add-on service).

With such a strong foundation in countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, one would assume that Netflix would be a sure bet in India; so what went wrong with the company’s strategy?
In a post-result webcast last week, Netflix CXOs emphasized the FAANG company’s financial prowess. During the webcast, the team admits to being baffled by the Indian market, adding that they are currently researching and evaluating the best market match.

Even though the comment was made in jest, it has ignited a debate among Indians over why the firm has been “unsuccessful” in India. In reality, what irritates Indian viewers is that, although Netflix focuses on fresh content, programming partnerships, and localization, the market’s pain concerns are visible — particularly indigenization.

With a foundation as strong as Netflix’s, one would imagine that the streaming service would be a surefire hit in India. However, slightly over 6 million customers in more than half a decade in the nation reveal Netflix’s predicament.

 

Is Netflix Targeting The Right Bharat At The Right Price?

why has netflix not been able to crack the indian market? | business standard news

So far, Netflix has retained its position as a flagship provider, resulting in excessive prices. The cheapest Netflix package, which costs INR 149 per month, permits only one user account to be used on one device, either a smartphone or a tablet. It also offers 4K streaming across four concurrent streams with the INR 649 a month premium plan.
Without context, these figures appear acceptable, even realistic to some extent.

After all, compared to its global price [$10-20 (INR 750 – INR 1500) in the US and £6 – £14 (INR 600 – INR 1400) in the UK], Netflix offers the lowest service in India. However, when critical macroeconomic criteria are considered, it is clear why Netflix does not appeal to the typical Indian as a feasible alternative, even though India is one of the world’s largest content marketplaces.

According to a CSE research conducted by Azim Premji University, an extra 230 million Indians plunged into poverty after the COVID-19 outbreak. Another sobering statistic is that in India, the wealth gap is enormous: the wealthiest 100 Indians own as much as the lowest 550 million.

However, this is not the India that Netflix is aiming for. Netflix is not an option in India, where the average monthly pay is barely INR 32,800. As things stand, Netflix will have to rethink its pricing approach to compete with cable, which costs an average of INR 300–350 per month in India, compared to $64.41 in the United States (INR 4,830).

See also  Original Content podcast: Netflix’s ‘Roma’ might be the best movie of the year

While the primary data demonstrates that India is a price-sensitive country where customers seek value for their money, it is not primarily searching for ‘free.’ India has progressed beyond being a price-sensitive market by 2021, with more customers opting for premium content. According to a BCG-CII annual M&E research, the 55-60 per cent year-over-year SVoD (subscription-based video on demand) spike in 2020, with more than half of new subscribers likely to keep the service/s.

 

So, what’s holding Netflix back from becoming a successful company?

fortune india: business news, strategy, finance and corporate insight

  • Bundled services or ad-supported OTTs compete with Netflix in India:

Interestingly, even though Netflix’s cost is far superior to other OTT platforms in India, it does not provide any additional features. On the other hand, its competitors are not making the same error. Subscriptions to Amazon Prime include not just video-on-demand programming but also free shipping and exclusive Amazon, Amazon Prime Music, and Kindle Unlimited discounts.

Amazon Prime also regularly licenses major Bollywood films like Salman Khan’s Bharat and Alia Bhatt’s Raazi and delivers material in numerous Indian languages, making it a considerably more profitable option for anyone searching for content in Indian languages. Prime subscribers can access eight other more minor streaming services on its crowded main page – programs, films, reality TV, and documentaries – with a single payment option for all.

Disney+Hotstar, on the other hand, has partnerships with television broadcasters and has the rights to stream several Indian channels and the whole Disney+ and HBO libraries. Furthermore, Disney+Hotstar has the rights to the English Premier League and the Indian Premier League, two of India’s most popular sporting events. IPL 2020 allegedly brings in 7.2 million views on Day 1 alone for Hotstar.

Furthermore, both offer package agreements with all three Indian carriers, making them significantly more user-friendly. Disney+Hotstar provides prepaid recharges from Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea, while Amazon Prime also offers Jio and Airtel recharges. On the other hand, Netflix is only accessible on Vodafone’s postpaid plans starting at INR 1,099 and more.

  • The Piracy Conundrum in the Content Conundrum

Netflix, which has spent over $3 billion on original and licensed local material, has followed the same strategy as it does in the United States and other countries: it worked with Indian studios to provide local content while also splurging on pushing ‘foreign’ original content on Indians.

Netflix’s lack of localization in the Indian market is one of the most aggravating aspects of the service. It has a slew of relationships with Indian production firms and has produced India-specific content, but it isn’t enough. Netflix focuses on fresh material, which is commendable, but it lacks indigenization. When Netflix reimagined Indian content in its image, conservative groups slammed the OTT giant, accusing it of being politically motivated, launching an attack on Indian culture, or considering India a third-world country based on a few elements of India-specific content pieces such as Sacred Games, Suitable Boy, or Leila.

While the Indian film industry is evolving, Indians still regard video programming as a source of amusement rather than a moral police force. Again, moral policing isn’t unique to Netflix, but the company has created localization based on a stereotype about Indians. On the other side, Amazon Prime Video, one of Netflix’s main competitors, provides a staggeringly large selection of television in six Indian languages and dubbing. Family Man, its action drama, was the most-watched Hindi streaming show last year, and Mirzapur, a rural gangland tale, has become a countrywide hit.

While certain aspects of the two presentations were contentious, Prime Video also has programming that generally discusses unusual and pleasant themes, such as Made In Heaven and Four More Shots Please. According to Netflix’s financial filings, Netflix and Disney+Hotstar each possessed the rights to eight of the top 20 most searched movies and TV series on Google.

However, India is a cinema-first market, particularly for vernacular and Bollywood films, and here is where Netflix’s strategy falls short of Hotstar. Disney+Hotstar took the lead in this, releasing films that could not be shown on the big screen because of the country’s epidemic. Netflix must recognize that categorizing material for Indians, such as love triangles, explicitness, nudity, and not generalizing ‘masala’ content (although it may appear sanitary), is not the best content strategy.

To accommodate the next 100 million Indians, Netflix must be a welcoming venue for the ‘non-elite,’ who want to unwind after a long weekend by viewing something short. Experts also predict that demand for content localization via suitable cultural allusions and vernacular material in local languages would drive development in the OTT sector (particularly in India). Services like dubbing, subtitling, translation and audio descriptions can help.

While Netflix focuses on dubbing material for Indian audiences, other companies (notably Amazon Prime Video) attempt to diversify their content offerings. Regional OTT providers such as STAGE, YuppTV, Viu, Addatimes, and MXPlayer, among others, compete with Netflix in the same way. Looking at the diversity of material available on Indian streaming applications, content localisation entails not just a language change but also a cultural transformation, such as the portrayal of relevant characters, dimensions, and tales.

Off-topic, Telegram has quickly become one of the most popular communication systems, thanks to certain unique features that set it apart from competitors like WhatsApp. The capacity to deliver files up to 2 GB in size to an end-user and the ability to create channels are two of these characteristics. This has led to widespread piracy on the site, with pirates creating Telegram groups and uploading all of the episodes. It has become a popular means of “streaming” shows in India.

While pirating content is immoral, Indians fundamentally want to keep up with the craze without breaking the bank. In this way, Telegram is a superior solution for people who wish to avoid FOMO (fear of missing out). While piracy is not confined to Netflix, Indian viewers prefer to pay for other OTTs because of the available bundled services. As a result, it’s reasonable to conclude that Netflix would not be as successful as it is now if it weren’t for piracy of its material.

 

How far behind Netflix is it?

top 10 ott platforms in india

The Corona issue was unquestionably the most critical growth factor in the video-on-demand market. And thanks to the internet infrastructure, a growing fondness for vernacular material, and the developing popularity of content live streaming, the ground was prepared for a leap to the next level.

Disney+Hotstar, along with Netflix, Zee5, Prime Video, Voot, SonyLiv, and AltBalaji, was the most downloaded OTT platform among the well-known seven, according to Inc42’s OTT performance blog from the ‘2021 In Review’ series. Netflix was only followed by Alt Balaji on the list, with only 17 million downloads in 2021.

According to Media Partners Asia, Disney+Hotstar might overtake YouTube as India’s second-highest revenue-earning video platform by 2025. Despite a projected decline to $175 million in 2020 due to the epidemic’s economic impact, Disney+Hotstar revenue is estimated to climb from $216 million in 2020 to $902 million in 2025. Netflix India had $205.43 million in revenue in the fiscal year that ended in March 2021.

In terms of market share, Disney+Hotstar isn’t far behind Netflix’s 29 per cent stake in India, with 25 per cent of the market. All Marvel Cinematic Universe material is owned by Disney+Hotstart (whose movies and TV shows are currently leading in watch time, user and fanbase and revenue).

Even though Netflix is pricey, it does not provide enough value for the money that consumers are paying right now. It lacks the extra benefits offered by two of its biggest competitors, providing Netflix with a significant competitive disadvantage in the long run.

According to a poll conducted by Accenture, as many as 74 per cent of Indian users believe the material they are paying for is too pricey. In addition, 46% of Indian consumers expect to cut back on media and entertainment expenditure in the coming year. Netflix, which has the highest membership fee among Indian OTTs, is set to bear the burden of dwindling SVOD usage.

 

Conclusion

Netflix is succumbing to the present global financial scenario, as evidenced by its stock having dropped for the first time in a decade. Their handling of the matter and lack of good PR make it appear as if they are solely concerned with their bottom line. As a result, their choice to introduce adverts and password enforcement makes them appear to be transitioning from a customer-centric corporation to a money-hungry one. Netflix would lose more customers and maybe its USP if proper actions were not taken sooner.

edited and proofread by nikita sharma

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