Video streaming giant Netflix is reportedly exploring tie-ups with cable operators in India and some South Asian markets in a bid to expand its global presence. It has revealed that connected television sets account for more than a third of Netflix viewing hours in India, and that will only increase as it notches up more subscribers in the country. Hence, possible partnerships with local cable and DTH operators would allow Netflix to offer smart TV-like experience to consumers without them having to own a smart TV set.
Such a partnership would enable easy navigation between satellite programming, and on-demand video content. Prior to this, Netflix had also inked deals with DTH providers Airtel Digital TV and Videocon d2h to make its content available to their subscribers. The Netflix app was integrated in those set-top boxes installed at consumer homes. Videocon d2h even rolled out a dedicated Netflix button on its remote for ease of use.
According to a Forbes estimate, Netflix had garnered 4.2 million paid subscribers in India in a year-and-a-half. Given the boom in online video consumption in India, that number will grow. “Cable set-top boxes are already present in the homes of millions of people and getting Netflix on those devices are a priority for us. We are actively engaged with partners in India, trying to figure out how we can get Netflix on those set-top boxes and then ideally get Netflix button on those remote controls,” Nigel Baptiste, Director, Partner Engagement at Netflix stated.
Interestingly, it is not just India where Netflix is looking at the satellite television market. It is also scouting for local cable partnerships in Singapore and Malaysia as it reckons that a significant part of its future growth would come from the Asia Pacific region. In APAC, 42 percent of Netflix subscribers are already using connected TVs as their primary viewing device. “We are moving into an era of multi-device connectivity and contextual entertainment. Today, Netflix users across the Asia Pacific are using anywhere between three to five different internet-connected devices to view the Netflix content,” Chris Jaffe, VP, Product Innovation at Netflix, explained.