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Vodafone announces carrier billing deal with Netflix

Vodafone has announced that it is now doing carrier billing for Netflix, the streaming company’s first such partnership in India. This means that postpaid customers will now be able to pay for Netflix on their monthly bills.

It is also bundling Netflix’s Basic subscription plan to postpaid customers who spend more than ₹1,299 per month. The bundling is limited for a few months, depending on the Vodafone plan that users select. The longest that Vodafone will have Netflix bundled into its postpaid plans will be for 12 months — this applies to Vodafone’s costliest ₹2,999/month plan. The bundling isn’t automatic, though — users will have to send a text to Vodafone to begin the process of activating the subscription.

Free “gift”?

While Vodafone is advertising this arrangement as a free “gift” to high-paying subscribers, that’s not exactly true. Even after subtracting Netflix’s subscription pricing from this monthly tariff, it works out to be more expensive than a similar plan offered to Jio’s Prime subscribers. Here’s an illustration:

So it’s cheaper for a Jio subscriber to subscribe to Netflix’s most expensive Premium plan, while shelling out less money for more data than Vodafone users, than it is for a Vodafone user to get Basic Netflix bundled with a postpaid plan. On top of this, the deal in the above illustration is only valid for 2 months — you’ll have to get Vodafone’s ₹2999 plan (and keep it for a year) if you want 12 months of bundled Netflix.

 

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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