Netflix debuted in India nearly six years, and while the streaming service has a decent-sized following in the country, it is far from the best streaming service in the region — that honor belongs to Disney+ and Prime Video.
The latest figures put Netflix at around 5 million subscribers in India, versus 17 million for Prime Video and a staggering 34 million for Disney+. The main reason for Netflix's lackadaisical growth in India has to do with pricing; the service costs roughly the same as its U.S. counterpart, making it a non-starter for a wide swathe of Indians.
Netflix even tried with a $3 mobile-only plan with 480p streaming to entice users in India, but it hasn't made much headway in the country. The service is now making another bold play by rolling out huge price cuts on all of its plans in the region, making India the most affordable country in the world for streaming Netflix's vast library.
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The Mobile plan now starts off at just ₹149 ($1.96), making it a very enticing choice for those that want to stream Netflix's TV shows and movies solely from their phones. But it's the Basic plan that has received a huge 60% discount, going from ₹499 ($6.5) to ₹199 ($2.62). This plan allows you to stream the Netflix library on any device at 480p resolution. These two tiers are limited to one stream at the same time.
The Standard plan has also picked up a decent 24% reduction to ₹499 ($6.5), and the 4K Premium tier at ₹649 ($8.5) is welcome news to me. I shelled out ₹800 ($10.5) for this tier for the last three years, so it is nice to see that the plan now costs a reasonable ₹649. The Standard and Premier tiers let you stream Netflix on the best streaming devices, with the former offering two streams at the same time and the latter going up to four.
Netflix's pricing is still high when seen against Disney+ — which costs ₹1,499 ($20) a year and includes all of Disney's portfolio of shows and movies as well as live sports. That said, this is a great move from Netflix, and one that should see the service finally gaining real momentum in the country. Another factor to consider is that Netflix owns the rights to Friends and The Office in India, and these two shows continue to be a big draw for Indian audiences — much like everywhere else in the world.
With Netflix seeing a slowdown in user growth from the U.S. and other western markets, it needs to look to the likes of India and other countries in Asia to drive momentum for its service. It has already invested over $1 billion in original programming in the region, and the latest move allows the service to take on Disney+ and Prime Video. If you're just getting started with the service, these are the best Netflix shows to stream in 2021.
With a huge library of TV shows and movies, Netflix is one of the best streaming services around. And if you're in India, you can now stream your favorite shows for less.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.