Netflix to double investment in India in 2017

Dated: April 18, 2017

In a bid to step up its presence in India, video streaming service provider Netflix is reportedly planning to set up a full-fledged office in the country.

In a bid to step up its presence in India, video streaming service provider Netflix is reportedly planning to set up a full-fledged office in the country. It will also invest in creating new content for the Indian market, as well as come up with new payment platforms.

Netflix will set up its office in Mumbai, its fourth in Asia after Tokyo, Singapore and Taiwan. As per the company’s CEO, the Mumbai office will be as large as Tokyo within a few years. Notably, the Tokyo office that opened two years ago now has 50 staff.

A Netflix spokesperson said, “India is hugely important for us in the long term as it is 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. It is 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.”

The company’s CEO, Reed Hastings, was quoted by media reports as saying that the Mumbai office will be as large as the Tokyo office. He further mentioned that India had seen the highest growth among all Asian markets for the company's streaming service and that the company now wants to be among the top five apps on a consumer's phone here.

However, Netflix still has a long way to go in India. At 4.2 million subscribers in over a year according to KPMG FICCI Report 2017, the global streaming service has to catch up with players such as Hotstar (63 million), Voot (13.2 million) and Amazon Prime Video (9.5 million).

When asked about the overall experience so far, Netflix seems positive, “We are thrilled about our reception with consumers in Asia. We started in 2016 at 75 million members and today, we are at over 93 million. Our customers in India are seeing how they can have greater control over their entertainment experience with a service like Netflix.”

To get more subscribers, Netflix has forged partnerships with telecom players with a large user base. “We recently announced partnership deals with three leading Indian telecom operators: Airtel, Videocon, and Vodafone. These partnerships are important to the way we will reach the diverse Indian market. Together Airtel Digital TV, Videocon, and Vodafone make up millions of users and teaming up with them will make it much easier for the Indian consumer to watch Netflix, whether on a set-top box or on mobile,” shares the spokesperson.

Further, Netflix plans to tie up with Reliance Jio, seeking to reach out to India’s 300 million plus Internet users. The company also wants to enable new payment platforms in India, including partnerships with mobile wallets, according to reports.

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