Netflix has “not succeeded” in scaling up its business in India despite the global streaming giant consistently lowering the subscription costs in the country, analysts at AllianceBernstein wrote in a report to clients Thursday.
The U.S. streamer has about 6.5 million subscribers in India, compared to Prime Video’s 20 million in the South Asian market, the analysts wrote. Disney+ Hotstar continues to dominate the market with over 40 million subscribers.
AllianceBernstein attributed Netflix’s slower growth in India to lack of local content, saying only 12% of the titles the global streamer offers in the country were local content. About 60% of Prime Video’s catalog in India, in comparison, was in domestic languages.
The poor reception in India comes despite Netflix consistently lowering the prices in the country even as it has virtually raised the prices in all other key markets. Netflix inked a “first-of-its-kind” deal with Jio Platforms, India’s largest telecom operator, to bundle the streaming service with the carrier’s pay-as-you-go plans in August.
“Perhaps the lesson from India points to both the need for higher density of local-language content as we described above, but also a recognition that in many emerging markets, value is less tied to a comparison with other streaming services and more tied to a much lower cost of linear TV or Internet video. India, for example, is likely YouTube’s largest market, and a key growth area for social media names,” the analysts wrote.
Netflix didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Disney’s Hotstar continues to dominate its competitors in India, thanks to its cricket streaming offerings, which consistently attract millions of live viewers during matches. The platform is even offering free streaming of the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup, an event that will last over 45 days, to all mobile users. JioCinema, the latest venture by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, is taking a page from Disney’s strategy — of acquiring rights to high-profile cricket matches — and is increasingly emerging as a formidable contender.