Netflix has officially launched operations in India on Wednesday, with plans starting at Rs 500 per month.
The basic plan starting at Rs 500 per month offers access only SD content and is limited to a single user. For Rs 650 per month you can watch HD content on 2 screes at a time, and Rs 800 per month will get you 4K content on up to 4 screens simultaneously.
Netflix is aggressively moving into new markets and aims to reach 200 countries by the end of 2016, as slowing domestic growth puts pressure on the company.
Users can access Netflix through an app on a smart TV, a videogame console, a streaming player, a smartphone or a tablet.
Along with its entry into India the Netflix has launched in other markets in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.
The move confirmed months of speculation on the launch of the service in the second-most populous country in the world and is in line with the company’s earlier statement to “run around break-even” in 2016 and turn a profit after that when the international expansion is complete.”
“Today you are witnessing the birth of a new global Internet TV network,” said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings adding that “with this launch, consumers around the world -- from Singapore to St. Petersburg, from San Francisco to Sao Paulo -- will be able to enjoy TV shows and movies simultaneously -- no more waiting. With the help of the Internet, we are putting power in consumers’ hands to watch whenever, wherever and on whatever device.”
The company also added Arabic, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese to the 17 languages it already supports. “From today onwards, we will listen and we will learn, gradually adding more languages, more content and more ways for people to engage with Netflix,” said Hastings adding that the company was looking forward to bringing great stories from all over the world to people all over the world.
It also sent out a rider that it will not yet be available in China, Crimea, North Korea and Syria due to U.S. government restrictions on American companies.
Netflix, which was established in 1997 and is headquartered in Los Gatos, California, had last year reported losses amid higher costs for content, and overseas expansion during the third quarter. It had also reported disappointing U.S. subscriber growth for the third quarter as its net profit declined.
Also, the company has faced incremental criticism from some media firms about licensing their content on its platform and this has driven several television companies to strike big library deals with Hulu, which is owned by media giants Walt Disney Co., 21st Century Fox and Comcast Corp., who citied that the smaller streaming service’s terms for protecting the traditional television business was more attractive to the media companies.
The company’s shares were up 5.5% at $113.60 in early afternoon trading as it announced its international expansion plans.