American entertainment company Netflix is shifting domains after partnering with direct-to-home (DTH) players Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Videocon D2H in India, which will allow its service to be extended to set-top-box (STB) format. The deal is looking to launch the services in the market in two months. The connected box will have pre-installed service and utility applications which a user can access along with existing broadband or Wi-Fi connection on their TV sets.
“India is one of the most important and vibrant countries in the world and we are delighted to be teaming up with three of its leading companies to make it much easier for consumers to enjoy Netflix,” said Reed Hastings, Co-founder and CEO of Netflix. “In the months and years to come, we look forward to bringing our Indian members more compelling stories from all over the world, an ever-improving viewing experience and incredible joy.”
With its integration with Netflix, Bharti Airtel will embed an application within its direct-to-home service throughout the country.
“We are delighted to partner Netflix to bring their popular content to our customer on one of our key digital platforms,” Gopal Vittal, Managing Director & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel stated in the press release sent to trak.in.
With Videocon D2H, the new service will render through a special Netflix button.
“This partnership strengthens our DNA of innovation by providing an instant TV screen experience for Netflix users in a seamless manner,” said Saurabh Dhoot, Executive Chairman, Videocon d2h as mentioned in the press release.
The upgraded Videocon STBs will embed Hotstar and Sony Liv services, and may also incorporate Voot.
It is tipped that Videocon D2H will offer new box at Rs 2,490 for existing customers, and for new users the services will cost about Rs 3,490.
Mobile partnership with Vodafone
For the mobile space, Netflix has partnered with Vodafone for its pre-paid customers that will enable payment integration. The new service will allow users to pay via their monthly mobile bills.
“We are proud to be the first mobile partner of Netflix in India and look forward to offering its rich content to further delight our millions of customers”, said Sandeep Kataria, Director Commercial, Vodafone India.
Western Influence Benefits
In the West, the consumption of Netflix is quite high as compared to other countries where it is just limited to mobile devices and tablets via Internet.
While globally about two-thirds of all hours of streaming are on a TV, India is one of the only three countries where Netflix’ consumption is more on the phones and tablets than TV, Todd Yellin, VP of Product at Netflix had recently told ET.
As per data gathered by community.data.gov.in, the number of active DTH subscribers of Videocon D2H was 111544127 as by the end of 2015, while the market share was 19.93% of total number of active DTH subscribers in the entire country.
Airtel on the other hand, has 11343424 active subscribers on its DTH services, and has a 20.26% of market share.
As per consultants, bringing the Netflix set-top box service will, in turn, provide further expansion of user base of Videocon and Bharti Airtel.
“It is good for OTT companies, which can grow their subscriber base faster and DTH players, who can grow their average revenue per user (ARPUs),” said Ashish Pherwani, head – advisory, media and entertainment, at consulting firm EY.
“This will differentiate Videocon D2H from existing cable TV and also other DTH players,” said Girish Menon, director – media & entertainment at consulting firm KPMG India.
We are excited about this development, and hopefully you are too…"Netflix Partners With Airtel & Videocon to Bring Content Through Set-Top-Boxes!",