Netflix rolls out Rs 5 a month offer. What’s the catch?

The streaming giant’s Rs 5 promotional offer is for new users but not for all of them

e4m by Shikha Paliwal
Updated: Feb 24, 2020 10:13 AM



India loves binge watching and this is evident in the burgeoning number of Over The Top (OTT) video streaming players in the market. What is also an established fact is that - India is an extremely price sensitive market. Perhaps, this is the reason why streaming giant Netflix, which ended its free trial scheme a few months back, is trying to lure new users with a Rs 5 per month offer instead.
But there is a catch - it will be visible to only some and not all new members when they sign up for Netflix. The promotional offer, for now, is still in its testing phase.

According to a Netflix spokesperson, “This is a new marketing promotion designed to help more people discover Netflix. Depending on its success, we may roll it out more widely.”

For Netflix, India is an extremely crucial market. On his visit to India, CEO Reed Hastings made that loud and clear with his aggressive Rs 3,000 crore investment plan for content. Last year, Netflix announced an exclusive mobile-only Rs 199 plan, the cheapest of all its subscription plans. Since its debut in India, the video streaming platform has been adding to its local language library, the popularity of which has helped it bump up its user base. But, in a highly competitive market like India, coupled with the fact that Netflix is a subscription-based platform (the most expensive in India), the company knows that adding new subscribers is not an easy task. The Rs 5 per month offer is, therefore, an attempt to on board new users who may shy away from the more expensive monthly ones.

The free one-month trial was an attractive prospect for consumers to first sample what the platform had in store. A mere Rs 5 per month is not a bad trade off either. However, as stated in the company statement, the plan will be made available to a wider public depending on its success. If you are one of the lucky new users to have been offered the Rs 5 offer, you will have access to the entire Netflix catalogue that includes all its movies, series and documentaries, but only for a month. The offer price will be irrespective of the Netflix plan the subscriber chooses. After the month ends, one will have to pay for the plan that was selected at sign-up.

It is to be noted that there is no change in the existing subscription plans — Rs 499 for Basic, Rs 649 for Standard, Rs 799 for Premium or Rs 199 for Mobile.

The Disney + launch on March 29 is expected to put pressure on Netflix’s ambitious plans of adding 100 million users from India. And even though Netflix has a first mover’s advantage in India, Disney+ is making a debut through the leader in the Indian OTT space - Hotstar.

India’s subscribers base is extremely crucial for both the international players. The content loving Indian, therefore, may stand to benefit from the streaming wars through competitive pricing. But it is mere speculation since the company has stated that their current plans remain unchanged. For now, new users have to suffice with the Rs 5 per month plan for a limited time period.

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