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Netflix slashes its susbscription rates for the first time since 2016 as competition among OTT platforms heats up

The price cut comes closely on the heels of rival Amazon Prime Video hiking charges.

Netflix has slashed its monthly subscription fees in India by as much as 50 percent with its basic plan now costing Rs. 199 a month instead of Rs. 499 earlier, according to a press release by Netflix. The standard plan, in which one can share two screens, will be available at Rs. 499 a month as opposed to Rs. 649, the company added.

The premium plan has also seen a 19 percent drop to Rs. 649 from Rs. 799; it is the most expensive plan in which a subscriber can watch Netflix on up to four screens. The mobile-only plan saw a cut of Rs. 50 and will now cost Rs. 149.

The company revealed that the new plans will come into effect from December 14, 2021. In an interview with Economic Times, Monika Shergill, Vice President, Content, Netflix India, explained that the price cut ties in with the content strategy and the timing of new content coming out.

This is the first time Netflix has slashed its rates in India since launching in 2016 as the competition among OTT platforms heats up. It is a significant step that is likely to attract viewers and cause fretting among its rivals.

‘Amazon Prime Video will now cost Rs 1,499 a year’

In an interesting turn of events, Netflix’s price cut comes closely on the heels of Amazon increasing the rate of Prime membership in India by up to 50 percent. A bundle of Prime membership gets you everything from Amazon Music, Prime Video, and fast delivery, according to its website.

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Amazon stated that the price hike will be witnessed across monthly, quarterly and annual plans, according to a report by The Indian Express. The company did not explain why it was introducing a hike at this juncture.

People will have to pay Rs. 1,499, for the annual Prime membership plan which was available at Rs. 999 till December 13, 2021. Its Rs. 129 monthly plan will now cost Rs. 179.

Prime membership’s quarterly plan will be available at Rs 459 instead of Rs 329. This is the second time Amazon has increased the price of its Prime subscription service in India since launching in 2016. It was launched at an introductory price of Rs 499 a year, which was hiked to Rs 999 in 2017.

How does Netflix compare with other platforms in India?

Netflix‘s closest rivals in India are Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ Hotstar, and together, they command a lion’s share of the Indian OTT market.

Disney+ Hotstar corners 50 percent of the market share followed by Amazon Prime with 19 percent of market share, according to Mashable India. Netflix has only managed to acquire only a five percent market share which is very low compared to Amazon Prime and Disney+Hotstar. This is due to the expensive subscription prices compared to other platforms, the website added.

Unlike Netflix, Prime Video and Hotstar both offer annual subscription plans at Rs. 1,499 which makes them a lot cheaper than Netflix which does not have discounted annual plans.

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Some of the broadcaster-led OTT platforms like Sony LIV, Zee5, Voot, ALTBalaji, all offer annual plans which are one-sixth of what you will shell out for Netflix’s most expensive plan in a year.

Some of the annual plans offered by OTT platforms:

  • SonyLIV: Rs 999
  • Zee5: Rs. 499
  • Voot: Rs 299
  • ALTBalaji: Rs. 300
  • Prime Video: Rs 1,499
  • Disney+ Hotstar: Rs. 1,499

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Written By

I cover several beats such as Crypto, Telecom, and OTT at MediaNama. I can be found loitering at my local theatre when I am off work consuming movies by the dozen.

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

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