Netflix has started trials for mobile-only streaming plans, which for half the cost of a regular membership will allow people to only watch content on mobile devices alone.
The plan is currently being tested in Malaysia. It’s set at around $4 per month, almost half the price of the Basic package $7.90 per month, and 60% cheaper than the Standard two-stream HD plan at $10.
In a statement to Variety, a Netflix spokesperson said: “We are always looking for ways to make Netflix more enjoyable and more accessible to people all over the world. In this case, we are testing to understand consumer interest in a mobile-only plan in some countries.”
On its third-quarter earnings call last month, bosses said it would experiment with lower-cost pricing models in international markets, including in India, and “see how that does in terms of being able to accelerate our growth and get more access.”
It takes the streaming service one-step closer to creating ‘vertical’ content specifically designed for watching on mobile screens.
At Mobile World Congress in 2017, chief executive Reed Hastings hinted it might soon go down the route of creating 'mobile-first' films and TV, saying “people are talking about it” and “maybe one day” it will look into it.
“I would bet that [ in the future] mobile TV is going to be [the main way to watch content],” said Hastings during his keynote at the event.
In Asia Pacific, about 74% of all video plays in the second quarter of 2018 were on mobile devices, according to research from video platform Ooyala. For the same period, that figure reached 65% in Latin America, 56% in North America, and 54% in Europe.
The Economist has projected that Netflix will spend $12-13bn on original programming this year.