With its growing presence in the country, Netflix is looking forward to set up a full-fledged office in India. The company will set up the office in Mumbai, its fourth in Asia, after Tokyo, Singapore and Taiwan.
“Our Mumbai office will be as large as Tokyo in a few years,” said Hastings. The Tokyo office that opened two years ago has 50 people now, said Reed Hastings, CEO, Netflix.
The American Video Streaming company wants to invest in creating content and open up more payment platforms for consumers.
Expansion and new opportunities
Hastings stated that India has emerged as one of Netflix’s three largest mobile phone markets around the world. As per Hastings, India had seen the highest growth among all Asian markets for the company’s streaming service.
“India is hugely important for us in the long term, because it’s one of the strongest internet markets and internet TV is the future over the next 10-20 years, given that linear TV will decline in viewing eventually,” Hastings said, as cited on ET.
On Monday, Netflix had earlier announced a deal with Bharti Airtel, Videocon and Vodafone to expand its portfolio from internet service to broadcast services like Set-top box (STB).
Challenges and Overcomes
The global broadcast service has over 44 million of its 94 million users from countries other than US. Netflix is working to eliminate buffering by producing technology that will support streaming of videos at a speed of just 100 Kbps, especially for markets like India, which is the world’s fastest growing smartphone market, but severely lacks network speed.
With less buffering capacity and more connectivity it is sure that India will gain more active users of internet TV, as the scope of the technology looks promising but implementation would require proper infrastructure.
“It’s a great opportunity to get in at the very beginning of internet TV, which will rise in India as phone networks as well as international players like YouTube and Netflix do more on the internet in India” said Hastings. “We want to be in the top five apps on the (consumer’s) phone,” he added.
In order to diversify the audience, it is also in procedure to add local content and will “double” the number of Television series and movie titles globally on its app to about 880 by 2018. However, Hastings stated that it will continue to focus on the premium segment in terms of subscription pricing, while its competitors HotStar and Amazon Prime Video offer comparatively lower price options for larger show libraries.
The internet TV company has also inked a deal with Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment, and Sacred Games.
“In 2017, we’ll be working on making our Indian service better in every dimension. We are keen on bringing more locally-produced series and films to our member households globally,” said Hastings.
Consolidation of TV into Single Format (STB)
After joining hands with Vodafone, Netflix is also looking forward to rope in Reliance Jio for extension of its services to 300 million plus internet users. It is also planning to provide payment platforms in India including partnerships with mobile wallets.
As per a recent usage survey done by App Annie, Hotstar leads the Indian market with an active user base of 63 million subscribers, followed by Jio Play with 52 million users and Voot TV with 13 million users. Amazon Video had 9.4 million users in December, while Netflix had 4.9 million subscribers.
Indian is a booming market for content streaming companies, especially after the surge of platforms like Hotstar and Hook. Netflix will be in a more flexible position after tapping the STB format.
Hastings is planning to spend time in Delhi and Mumbai, meeting content creators to expand its portfolio and operations. The company hasn’t disclosed the investment it will make in India as of now."Netflix is Setting Up an Office in Mumbai After India Records Highest Growth in Asian Markets!",