Online video streaming viewers are about to get one more option as the world’s largest video streaming company Netflix is set to launch services in India.
According to industry sources, Netflix is expected to announce its India launch at the Consumer Electronic Show at Las Vegas next week.
Netflix could enter India through a partnership with a local telecom firm to take advantage of the 4G networks that make watching high quality video streaming possible on a mobile anywhere.
Netflix did not respond to the queries sent by BusinessLine about their India plans.
Growing demand for video, especially on mobile is creating a large market for online video streaming services in India. As per a Cisco VNI report, 41 billion minutes (77,090 years) of video content crossed the internet in India each month in 2014, up from 31 billion in 2013. That's 15,418 minutes of video streamed or downloaded every second.Growing video traffic
Internet video traffic was 46 per cent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2014, up from 38 per cent in 2013, making video an obvious choice to focus their revenue opportunities on. By 2019, video is expected to grow to 74 per cent of all internet traffic in India.
Netflix offers its service is for $8.99 (about ₹600) a month in the US for watching HD-quality movies and TV shows on any two screens at the same time. However, Indian prices are expected to be much lower.
US-based Netflix is borrowing $1 billion to fund its international expansion including in Asia. South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan are the other four countries in Asia where Netflix plans to offer its services in 2016.
Other such services available in India already include Bigflix from Reliance Communications, Movies section from Google Play, Youtube’s Movie rentals, Eros Now and Spuul, which has partnered with Yash Raj Films to offer the studio’s movies on the website.
Singapore’s on-demand video provider Hooq also launched its services in India in July, 2015. Hooq, a joint venture between SingTel, Warner Bros and Sony Pictures Television, lets a user stream and download movies and TV shows in India for ₹199 per month.
However, what Netflix can bring to India is not just more video but better technology at affordable prices. The service is already popular in over 50 countries with around 62 million subscribers. More than 40 million of those users are in the US.
Indian market has long been ignored by international video streaming websites, given high piracy rates and crawling internet speeds. However, sources say that Netflix is betting big on 4G services in India that are expected to remove the speed bottleneck.