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Localised content is as important as price when choosing a streaming service in India


By Charlotte McEleny | Asia Editor

December 18, 2018 | 3 min read

Indian’s aren’t just looking for the best bang for their buck when choosing from a competitive online streaming selection: localised content factors just as highly.


Localised content is as important as price for Indians choosing a streaming service

A report by IHS Markit found the two biggest factors for Indians looking to stream were price and localised content, with just over 76% of people selecting the latter as a key decision-making point. The quality of dubbing and subtitles was the third most important factor, chosen by around 74% of those surveyed.

According to IHS Markit, pay TV subscriptions in India are expected to reach 166m homes by the end of 2018 and are expected to reach a further 22m over the next five years. Meanwhile online video services will add 25 million subscribers over the same period, exceeding 35 million by the end of 2022.

The market is extremely competitive, with many local names that have cornered the localised content market gaining a solid foothold. IHS Markit said the strength of the domestic TV and streaming space poses a significant threat to Netflix and Amazon, which are stepping up investment into the region.

The company noted Hotstar Premium continues to lead the over-the-top (OTT) video market, a position that is said to be because of its premium content strategy, helping it account for one in four OTT subscriptions in India.

It has been making significant deals to gain global content over the past year, including deals with CBS and Hooq for Hollywood films.

The research reveals price is still a factor, and this could also be a problem for the more expensive US streaming options. According to IHS Markit, pay TV average revenue per user (ARPU) averages $3.70 (USD) in India, which is nearly half of the basic entry price for Netflix.

But although pricing will become an issue, at least in India there’s also a chance to win by investing in content, rather than purely a race to the bottom. To show a comparison, IHS Markit noted that in Australia, a mature pay TV market, the range of content falls 20% below pricing. In Japan, the availability of local content, quality of subtitling and dubbing were only half as important as pricing, it added.

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