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Netflix’s Reed Hastings ‘pleased’ with India progress

25-January-2018
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Netflix’s Reed Hastings ‘pleased’ with India progress

Video-streaming giant Netflix crossed $100 billion in valuation, riding on strong subscriber growth in the December quarter. Netflix’s worldwide base now stands at 117.6 million, adding 24 million subscribers through 2017.

Reed Hastings, Netflix’s CEO, has been satisfied with India’s performance. He mentioned in an earnings call, “And when we compare it to Latin America several years ago, we're very pleased with the progress that we're making through India, through Southeast Asia, through Japan -- and Japan.”

On India market he considered Hotstar to be a great competitor, “YouTube gets the most streaming in India, but Hotstar gets the second most. So it's not a wildly different landscape. So that wouldn't particularly change our view in India. Hotstar's a great competitor, and sometimes collaborator now, and I'm sure they would continue to be under Disney.”

In a letter to its shareholders, Netflix said: “We had a beautiful Q4 [December quarter], completing a great year as internet TV expands globally. In 2017, we grew streaming revenue 36 percent to over $11 billion, added 24 million new memberships (compared to 19 million in 2016), achieved for the first time a full-year positive international contribution profit, and more than doubled global operating income.”

Most of the international growth came as Netflix started producing larger originals outside the US like the German series Dark. It went to the extent that the price rise across the world didn’t really impact Netflix. In the EU and Australia, Netflix raised prices by roughly a euro. In the US, its mid-tier plan underwent a dollar increase too.

Netflix announced that it would be investing $8 billion in creating original shows in 2018, and an additional $2 billion on the marketing team.

According to media reports Netflix plans to launch 5-6 India originals a year. It has also partnered Ronnie Screwvala’s RSVP for its first original movie from India, ‘Love Per Square Foot.’
The originals include ‘Sacred Games’, by filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, cricket and corruption drama ‘Selection Day,’ based on the book by Aravind Adiga, and supernatural detective series ‘Again.’

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