Netflix ready to touch base in India by opening its first office in Mumbai
Netflix plans to touch down in India, to keep themselves in sync with the pulse of Indian audience, by setting up an office in Mumbai.
According to a spokesperson, it is ready to expand in Mumbai by launching its first office soon: “The size and potential of India is strategically important to the next phase of our growth and setting up an Indian office in the near future will help us support that."
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings visited India last month when Netflix announced partnerships with Bharti Airtel, Videocon and Vodafone to expand its portfolio from internet service to broadcast services. He said: "India is hugely important for us in the long term, because it’s one of the strongest internet markets and internet TV is the future over the next 10-20 years, given that linear TV will decline in viewing eventually.
The latest marketing news and insights straight to your inbox.
Get the best of The Drum by choosing from a series of great email briefings, whether that’s daily news, weekly recaps or deep dives into media or creativity.Sign up
It’s a great opportunity to get in at the very beginning of internet TV, which will rise in India as phone networks as well as international players like YouTube and Netflix do more on the internet in India."
He further added: "India had seen the highest growth among all Asian markets for the company’s streaming service; and wants to be among the top five apps on a consumer’s phone.'
Earlier, Netflix signed a licensing pact with Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan's banner Red Chillies for its catalog and new titles. Netflix's upcoming offerings for the year include the Robert Redford-Jane Fonda film Our Souls at Night, headed by Indian director Ritesh Batra (The Lunchbox, The Sense of an Ending).
It is going to be an uphill battle for Netflix to carve its niche as currently it has just 4.2 million subscribers in over a year, according to KPMG FICCI Report 2017, and trails behind already established Indian players such as Hotstar (63 million), Voot (13.2 million) and its global rival Amazon Prime Video (9.5 million), which has made significant moves into the market.
However, Hastings sounded upbeat and was quoted saying: "In 2017, we’ll be working on making our Indian service better in every dimension. We are working with some of India’s top artists, we cannot wait to bring more locally produced series and films to our more than 93 million members households around the world.”
According to the report, Netflix also has potential plans to forge a partnership with Reliance Jio, seeking to reach out to India’s 300 million plus Internet users. Netflix further wishes to enable new payment platforms in India, including partnerships with mobile wallets.