scorecardresearch
Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar face price war in India as data tariffs go up

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar face price war in India as data tariffs go up

The three major telcos-Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone Idea, increased their data costs by as much as 41 per cent

As per a FICCI-EY 2019 report, Indians spend 30 per cent of their phone time - and over 70 per cent of their mobile data -on entertainment As per a FICCI-EY 2019 report, Indians spend 30 per cent of their phone time - and over 70 per cent of their mobile data -on entertainment

OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar and others are facing a price war in India as telecom companies hiked data tariffs earlier this month.

The three major telcos-Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone Idea, increased their data costs by as much as 41 per cent. The move has apparently made customers anxious, who frequently stream videos on their phones.

As per a FICCI-EY 2019 report, Indians spend 30 per cent of their phone time - and over 70 per cent of their mobile data -on entertainment.

Correspondingly, Netflix, which is the world's biggest video streaming platform unveiled its cheapest plan of Rs 199 a month in July this year. Netflix's mobile-only plan was designed specifically for the Indian market on the basis of the usage pattern of Indians who do more of video streaming on their smartphones.

Meanwhile, Netflix's rival HOTSTAR'S subscription plans start at Rs 199 per month while Amazon Prime Video, which is part of Amazon's Prime subscription, is priced at Rs 129 per month. Zee Entertainment's ZEE5 is available at Rs 99 per month while ALTBalaji, the video streaming service of Reliance-backed Balaji Telefilms is priced at Rs 100 for three months.

Netflix said it had 14.48 million subscribers in Asia-Pacific region as of September-end, up from 9.46 million subscribers in the same period last year.

However, the effects of price pressures would by and large be visible across the telecom industry. On the other hand,  the OTT services will continue to grow as they are popular among higher-income Indians who can easily afford to pay little more for wireless access.

Also read: From Sacred Games to Mighty Little Bheem: Netflix is learning a lot from India, says CEO Reed Hastings

Also read: Telecom tariff war: Reliance Jio claims to offer five times more free outgoing calls than rivals