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This is Big! Netflix is Coming To India; Local DTH Players Brace Up

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Netflix

We have been longing to have leading video streaming operators like Netflix enter India, but we didn’t hear any concrete information besides rumours and speculations, until recently. According to media reports, Netflix is planning to enter India by the year 2016. This news has sent all current DTH operators into a tizzy as they all know how appealing and lucrative Netflix streaming service can be.

Why Netflix Is Such A Big Deal?

Netflix is the leader in on-demand video streaming service and as per GeekWire it occupies a market share of 36% in the United States which translates to over 40 million users. This is about 3 times of Amazon Prime’s market share. Now, you would be able to able understand what the top DTH operators in India will be up against. Netflix also has more than 62 million subscribers across the globe who can watch any video (movies, TV, music videos, etc.) whenever they want.

In contrast to that, DTH operators don’t have such real-time on-demand video streaming services. Further Netflix offers some very affordable plans for its SD and HD services, which we hope would be even more cheaper in India, given the fact that Hooq, another on-demand video streaming service, has launched its services in India at just Rs. 199 per month.

DTH players in India are worried that Netflix will steal their market share significantly and hence are formulating new strategies to counter the on-demand video-streaming giant.

“It’s similar to Starbucks entering India. Everybody knew about it, but cafe brands were late to react and Starbucks came and stole the show. We don’t want to be caught on the wrong foot,” said a Tata Sky spokesperson.

Tech. & Net Neutrality Will Play A Big Role

Besides offering cheap monthly plans, one major factor that will affect the subscriber base of Netflix in India would be the internet speed. India is infamous for slow internet around the world and has slowest internet connectivity in all of Asia according to Akamai.

Talking about recommend broadband speed for enjoying Netflix, here is some information from its official website:

Video Quality Broadband Speed (Mbps)
SD 3
HD 5
UHD (4K) 25

India’s current broadband speed is way below what is required to watch Netflix in SD quality and that’s why Netflix decision to launch by 2016 makes sense. Indian government is working on providing affordable high-speed fiber broadband plans to all households in the country. This will be supplemented by the launch of high-speed 4G data services by Reliance Jio in the country.

In the western countries many ISPs are known to throttle internet speed for video-streaming websites. India has no net neutrality laws as of now, but it will most likely be in favour of net neutrality.

Leading DTH operators like now taking the smartphone app route for tackling this threat of on-demand video streaming. The company will soon launch iOS and Android apps which let the users watch movies and videos for a fee.

“Netflix and HBO have already demonstrated scalable business models. But, a lot will depend on content as well as technology. Current streaming costs might limit their potential,” said Salil Kapoor, Chief Operating Offer, Dish TV.

Only time will tell how successful would Netflix become in India, but a lot will depend on the country’s average internet speed and net neutrality laws.

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  1. […] year in June, we reported strong possibility of Netflix’s Indian expansion, which has now been almost confirmed. Netflix hasn’t officially confirmed this news. Besides […]

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