Netflix Executives: We are way behind Hotstar and YouTube in India

Netflix failed to meet subscriber and revenue expectations in the quarterly results announced on Monday

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jul 17, 2018 3:32 PM

Netflix’s quarterly revenue and subscriber numbers fell short of expectations in Monday’s earnings call resulting in the Netflix stock tumbling down by 10%.

But the company executives still found reason to be happy, they are excited about Netflix’s India report card. In the investor call Netflix chief Reed Hastings said, “We are really pleased with our progress or tracking we're making since we launched two and a half years ago.” He also said he sees a lot of opportunity in India.

There is pressure on the streaming giant to add new subscribers in international markets like India where the streaming major competes with YouTube and Hotstar. Its Chief Product Officer Greg Peters confessed that Netflix is “way behind YouTube, Hotstar” in India. “Those are really the leaders on the internet. And there is so much TV viewing at Linear TV that could be internet viewing,” he said.

Netflix launched its first Indian Original - Sacred Games - earlier this month and will be launching another- Ghoul - in August. It is this regional content strategy that has worked for Netflix, the executives said. “We've been producing shows that are incredibly relevant in their home territories and the nice windfall is they get viewed all over the world,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, Netflix. He added that Netflix India has seen “great success” with Sacred Games.

Producing local content is also helping change the perception of the brand as an out-of-towner, Sarandos said. “It's really accelerating the brand perception of Netflix as someone who is producing content you care about in every part of the world,” he said.

Later this year Netflix will launch new seasons of Chicas Del Cable from Spain, Ingobernable from Mexico. The high production quality of these shows aids in getting consumers, who don't know about Netflix, excited about the OTT platform, Sarandos added.

Pleased with the success Netflix has had so far, Peters said, “We're really getting some nice momentum in our India growth. We’re still a niche product and have got a long way to go to expand languages and many other aspects to able to cover to be a broad Indian product. But in terms of our beachhead, I’m very pleased with what we’ve been doing.”

Netflix which follows a purely subscription strategy in India falls in the premier category with a base subscription cost of Rs 500 per month. Netflix executives believe that the price point still leaves them with a significant growth opportunity. “We’re far from reaching a limit in terms of the addressable market given the pricing structures we have right now, we've got a lot of room to grow in a reasonably affluent part of the society in India and other markets around the world,” said Peters. He added that “the price point is is more of a value proposition than a premier proposition.”

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