Netflix, the world’s only profitable pure-play streaming platform, said lower priced subscriptions have helped reignite its business in India, making it the fastest growing market for the company globally.
Speaking with a select group of journalists in New Delhi, Netflix co-chief executive officer Ted Sarandos said India had the highest net paid additions in 2022 among all the markets company operates in. “This year (2022) was our most successful in India in terms of growth,” he said.
Sarandos added the company has no plans for launching advertising supported subscriptions in India. “The ad-supported tier will make marginal money in 2023. We hope to achieve meaningful revenues from this in two to three years. This is growing in developed countries. For developing countries, the subscription led business continues to grow,” he said.
Growth in India was fueled by the price cut and content, Sarandos said, adding the company had seen 30 per cent growth in engagement and watch time, and 25 per cent growth in revenue in India last year. “India was the fastest growing market for Netflix – we grew faster than anywhere else in the world”, he said. Netflix had cut the price of its subscription offerings in India in December 2021, a move that has borne fruit for the company. “The Indian business has revved up – already four titles have been launched this year till mid-February”, he said. Last year, Netflix India had launched 28 titles.
The company, which reported $32 billion in revenue and $5.6 billion in operating income globally in 2022, is on track to spend $17 billion globally for producing content this year. The total subscriber base stood at 231 million globally, with 7.6 million subscriber additions in the last quarter.
Explaining the content philosophy for the Indian market, Sarandos said the content recipe for India is very local, with the focus being on thrilling the local audience. “Unlike many others, we manage India from India, he said, adding that RRR is a trigger moment for Indian cinema’s global acceptance. India has a great movie culture. Indian series are tracked well in many countries”, he said.