Indians will no longer have to use third-party apps to watch shows on Netflix, with the streaming service all set to announce its official entry into the nation. A new report claims the launch will come to pass at CES 2016, which is being held at Las Vegas next week.
While India boasts of a number of local streaming video services like Eros Now and Bigflix, international players such as Netflix have given the country a miss for the most part. The high rate of piracy combined with unreliable internet speeds are major reasons for this. However, the rolling out of 4G connectivity across the subcontinent may change the scenario.
Will Netflix violate net neutrality in India?
Netflix is supposedly teaming up with a domestic telecom operator to capitalize on the potential for 4G speeds to deliver high-quality videos on-the-go. There’s no way of knowing how much the company will charge for its services in India. In the US, the platform costs $8.99 (roughly Rs 600) per month. The Hindu Business Line theorizes the brand will lower its price for the local market.
Net neutrality and Facebook’s attempts to violate it via Free Basics is a hot topic in India right now. If Netflix is partnering with a mobile and ‘lowering its price’ in the country as reported, does this mean it could base it business model here on differential rates? We’ll know more at the Consumer Electronics Show next week.
India hot destination for video streaming services
According to a Cisco VNI study, a staggering 41 billion minutes or 77090 years of video content had been streamed in India on a monthly basis in 2014, more than the 31 billion the nation saw in 2013. Videos had accounted for 46% of all internet traffic in 2014, with the figure expected to grow up to 74% by 2019.
These numbers make India an ideal destination for video streaming services. Netflix has sunk in over $1 billion to support its bid for global dominance, with plans to open in Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan in 2016. It already has a presence in about 50 countries and boasts of a 62 million-strong international user base, 40 million of which are from the US.