In the United States, Netflix and Amazon Prime are the two most popular purveyors of subscription-video on-demand (SVOD) services. With both of those players (and Netflix in particular) beginning to reach a high level of saturation within the American market, they have turned overseas, where they hope to attract international audiences in order to continue to grow their subscriber numbers.
India, which now counts a population of more than 1.2 billion people, is a particularly juicy target for America’s SVOD giants, and now that Indian consumers are showing more interest in online video, Netflix and Amazon are making overtures to them. In recent days, both companies have laid out plans to attract new subscribers within the South Asian nation. In Amazon’s case, the plan includes a major price cut; Netflix, on the other hand, is looking to help Indians account for limited bandwidth.
A subscription to Amazon Prime costs $99 per year in the U.S., but in India, that service is available for just $15 per year, and a recent deal — which Mashable calls an “introductory offer” — will chop that price in half once again, to $7.50. For the denizens of a country whose average GDP per capita is significantly lower than the U.S.’, that price cut is attractive. It also makes Amazon a much cheaper choice than Netflix; for the price of a one-month Netflix subscription, an Indian consumer can now get an entire year of Amazon Prime.
All that’s left is for Amazon to actually launch its video service in India, though it seems as if that will happen soon, and some content deals are already in place. Netflix, on the other hand, is already available in India, and its first deal for an original Indian series occurred four months before Amazon’s. Now, Netflix’s main goal is to ensure that its Indian viewers can actually stream its content. It has announced its plan to create an offline mode that will let users download videos during non-peak hours. While it hasn’t specifically mentioned India as a region where that feature would be deployed, though its Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos specifically noted the “undeveloped world” as a target. A similar feature developed by YouTube over the past couple of years is marketed to Indian Internet users. CNBC notes that Amazon Video already has an offline mode as well.
In terms of price and ease of streaming, Amazon has the edge over Netflix, but the latter company’s content plans seem much more fully developed. The battle between the two SVOD platforms for South Asian supremacy will be interesting to watch; whichever one grabs a bigger market share will likely be rewarded with millions of new subscribers.