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Netflix's lack of success in India 'frustrating', says cofounder Reed Hastings

Netflix hasn't made much headway in India and its lack of success in the Indian market is "frustrating", said the streaming giant's co-founder, president, and co-CEO Reed Hastings. He, however, added that the company is "definitely leaning in there".

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Netflix hasn't made much headway in India and its lack of success in the Indian market is "frustrating", said the streaming giant's co-founder, president, and co-CEO Reed Hastings. He, however, added that the company is "definitely leaning in there".

Speaking during an investor call, Hastings said, "In every other major market, we've got the flywheel spinning. It frustrates us that we haven't been as successful in India yet."

His remarks came weeks after Netflix slashed its prices in India. The California-based streaming major had in December 2021 reduced its prices by 25% for the first time since 2016, when it entered the Indian market.

"What's unique about India is cable," Hastings noted, adding that "It is about $3 (Rs 223) per month per household, which is radically different pricing than the rest of the world, which does impact consumer expectations."

Netflix COO Greg Peters also stated that it was the right time to cut prices in India as they took stock of their activities to widen their offerings.

"We also wanted to do it across the range of plans that we had under the theory that some of those features like the ability to watch on TV with a basic plan really unlocks more value in the service and therefore, would create more retention, more attractiveness," Peters said.

"While we decrease ARM, (average revenue per member) as a result of the price decreases, we're going to make it up in more subscriber adds (additions)."

Netflix added 2.58 million new paid subscribers in the Asia Pacific region in the fourth quarter of 2021, logging its best subscriber gains in over a year, steered by strong growth in India and Japan.

Dwaipayan Bhattacharjee
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