Video streaming company Netflix has signed a strategic partnership with DTH provider Tata Sky. This partnership will enable subscribers of both the services access to the Netflix catalogue through future Tata Sky platforms (it is unclear what future platforms are being talked about here).
The details of how this partnership will work remain unclear. Will the entire Netflix catalogue be available to Tata Sky users? Will access require a Netflix subscription or will it be bundled with the Tata Sky subscription? Will the content be delivered through existing Tata Sky set-top boxes or will an upgrade be necessary? Tata Sky MD & CEO Harit Nagpal said in a statement that they will soon “announce the offering possible with this partnership.”
This move seems to be part of the streaming company’s continued push to reach more big screens in mobile-centric India. In March, Netflix had also announced a similar strategic partnership with Airtel and Videocon d2h to integrate the Netflix app to the set-top boxes of both the companies. Videocon d2h had also integrated a dedicated Netflix button on the remote control of its set-top box.
Getting Indians to switch to big screens
India may be one of the most mobile-heavy markets for Netflix, but the company has spoken about investing in reaching more large screens i.e. TVs in the country. “We are actively engaged with cable operator partners in India to get Netflix included in set-top boxes that are already present in the homes of millions of people,” Nigel Baptiste, who heads partner engagement at Netflix, had told the Economic Times in December 2017. He added that he hoped some providers would even add a dedicated Netflix button on the set-top boxes’ remote controls.
The company’s TV experience is a standard one that is easy for cable and DTH providers to install in set-top boxes, provided they are internet-enabled and have enough memory. Since Netflix uses the internet to stream content even on cable set-top boxes, it leaves a very small data footprint.
Sticking to its price in India
In its earnings call with investors last week, company co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings was asked about taking a more aggressive approach in emerging markets with lower price points in countries like India. Hastings said that the company is very happy with the results of its price of Rs 500 to Rs 800 in India and that in there no near-term plans for lowering the pricing.