Netflix seems to be exploring mobile-only subscription with new low-cost packages for Asia and other emerging markets. The video streaming platform quietly testing a cheaper steaming plan meant only mobiles in Malaysian market.
According to a report from Malaysian newspaper The Star, Netflix has introduced its first mobile-only plan for just RM17 a month, which is as low as Rs 290 a month or say around $4 a month. The biggest change with this plan is it only allows customers to access Netflix content on a single mobile device and only in standard definition (SD), not HD.
The RM17 a month plan is essentially 50 percent cheaper than Netflix’s next ‘Basic’ package of RM33 in Malaysia.
TechCrunch has reported that a Netflix spokesperson has confirmed about the Malaysia trial. According to report, Netflix is running similar trials “in a few countries” but did not provide additional details. As of now, it is speculated that company might just be targeting emerging markets for such mobile-only subscriptions, and it remains to be seen whether the service will extend to other parts of the world as well.
Malaysia market is probably one of the smallest for Netflix at present according to 132,000 subscribers number by research firm Statista. The company has about 137 million customers in total, out-of-which those outside of the U.S. represent 79 million.
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Netflix has been quite rigid in its pricing around the world. Chief Executive Reed Hastings on Friday denied reports speculating cheaper plans for a large population market like India. He also added that if there was an issue with the pricing model then the company would see an increasing number of users on the lower price plan. This information came weeks after the company announced 17 original Netflix productions in Asia with nine of them in India.