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Netflix testing Rs250 mobile-only plan in India: Report

Netflix is testing a mobile-only subscription in India. According to the Economic Times, the mobile-only plan costs Rs250 a month – half that of Netflix’s cheapest plan up to now – and is currently available only to select users. The new plan allows subscribers to watch standard definition (SD) content on one mobile or tablet screen at a time. Netflix’s regular entry-level plan costs Rs 500 a month. It, too, offers only SD video on screen at a time but, unlike the mobile-only subscription, can be used on a television or laptop as well.

A statement from the company read, “We will be testing different options in select countries where members can watch Netflix on their mobile device for a lower price and subscribe in shorter increments of time. Not everyone will see these options and we may never roll out these specific plans beyond the tests.”

Still India’s most expensive streaming service

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings had earlier told Reuters that the company doesn’t have a pricing issue India. “It’s about what a movie ticket would cost. We would like consumers to compare it with that than what they pay for cable TV,” Hastings said.

But even with the new plan, Netflix will remain India’s most expensive streaming service:

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  • Hotstar: Plans start at Rs 199 a month
  • Amazon Prime Video: Costs Rs 129 a month; also includes priority deliveries from Amazon and access to Amazon Music
  • ZEE5: Costs Rs 99 a month
  • ALTBalaji: Costs Rs 100 for three months

Last November, Netflix announced it would try cheaper plans in select markets and soon after began testing these in Malaysia and a few other countries, Reuters reported. India is a key market for Netflix, which opened an office in Mumbai last year. It has commissioned 12 series and 12 movies in India so far. India’s online video market is expected to grow from $700 million in 2018 to $2.4 billion by 2023, according to Media Partners Asia.

Netflix ended 2018 with 139.3 million paid subscribers, including 80.8 million outside the US.

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