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Netflix Seeks Aggressive Push Into India, Ted Sarandos Says

Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos says the global streaming giant is planning an aggressive push into the Indian market, an effort that will involve increased production and possibly a reduced subscription price.

“We have 10 original shows in production right now and six original films coming up for 2019 and more to come,” said Sarandos, speaking as part of a masterclass delivered at the Mumbai Film Festival.

Netflix’s investment in licensing of Indian content has more than doubled since the service launched in India. “It’s been a very aggressive push into India and a vote of confidence that we can do well here,” Sarandos said.

India is an extremely price-sensitive market. Netflix subscriptions begin at $6.83 per month in India, whereas Amazon Prime Video’s monthly rate is $1.76. Asked by Variety whether Netflix would consider reducing prices in India in order to increase its subscriber base, Sarandos said: “Part of the consumer science of Netflix is trying to figure out the right price value for every country. A lot of it really is about how much you have to watch. It’s not about the price sensitivity as much as the value sensitivity.” Sarandos said that the value for each customer is relative to how much of Netflix they watch. “We’re always trying to adjust the price to suit the market, and that’s true of all countries,” Sarandos said.

Netflix has about 5 million subscribers in India, compared to Amazon’s 11 million, according to Counterpoint Research. The OTT market leader, 21st Century Fox’s Hotstar, has more than 75 million.

Upcoming Netflix India originals include “Selection Day,” “Leila,” “Bard of Blood,” “Crocodile,” “Midnight’s Children,” “Again,” and “Baahubali: Before the Beginning.”

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