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Next 100 million subscribers for the company will come from India: Reed Hastings CEO, Netflix

28-February-2018
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Next 100 million subscribers for the company will come from India: Reed Hastings CEO, Netflix

With every visit to India, Reed Hastings, CEO, Netflix, is getting more upbeat about the country's performance; whether its membership or reception towards its content. It is reported that the American streaming giant has earmarked a content budget for India on a short term basis.
Meanwhile, Netflix has reported to grow its streaming revenue by 36 per cent to over $11.6 billion, adding 24 million new members. The disruptor in the entertainment business with hits like 'House of Cards' and 'Stranger Things,' has set a budget of $8 billion to produce original shows. On his recent third visit to India, Hastings is optimistic that the next 100 million subscribers for the company will come from India.

Here are the key takeaways from his current trip:

Objective is to be compared with movie price tickets not cable TV services

In one of his interviews to mainstream media, Hastings mentioned that they want to produce such great content that consumers should start comparing the global streaming platform with movie price tickets rather than cable TV services. According to him, Indian entertainment services will undergo a significant change in the next 20 years because of pay services like Netflix.

India is a prominent market for Netflix at the moment

Hastings has always maintained that India is the current priority market for global streaming services. Satisfied with India's membership growth, he even went on to predict that the next 100 million subscribers for the company will come from India. So the international growth is over 40 per cent year-on-year in membership whereas the US is just 11 per cent. India is growing, like international, but far higher according to the CEO. The expansion can be credited to the change in payment mode from international credit card to domestic debit and credit cards.
The aim is to have the most internet users in India in the next 5-10 years to be able to watch Netflix.

It's a great time to be an Indian Internet consumer

Currently, Netflix is at the second stage of producing Indian content, and then sharing that around the world. The latest example is its first original Indian movie, produced by Ronnie Screwvala called 'Love Per Square Feet,' (released on February 14) which is doing well in UK, US and Mexico. It's to be noted that it's the first Indian film to premiere on the streaming service. He even mentioned in one of the interviews that the number of shows announced in India by Netflix is bigger than in any other country except the US, UK and Japan.

Last week, three new Indian original series called 'Leila,' 'Ghoul' and 'Crocodile' where announced and will be added to a larger slate of original productions out of India including 'Sacred Games,' 'Selection Day,' and 'Bard of Blood.'

The niche in India is bigger than most countries

Netflix which banks upon their original Western content is looking to build up shows produced here in India. This is aimed at getting content which is more relative to world audiences, which will then help them expand. Meanwhile, it continues to target that segment that is interested in western content, where Netflix has leverage.

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