Netflix and India: A rundown of how the platform is doing in one of the largest markets

Public TV English
Public TV English
5 Min Read

Payaswini Ranganath

BENGALURU: Netflix, a video streaming service that has been in the market for years, seems to be going downhill amid tough competition and slow growth. The OTT platform lost nearly 2,00,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022-23 and since then, the company laid off 150 people, mainly in the US, who accounted for 2% of its workforce, citing prolonged growth in business. So what led to Netlfix’s seemingly sudden shrinking business and their position in India with stiff competition? Read on.

A little about Netflix

Netflix was founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolf. In 1999, it began online subscription services. Subscribers could choose movies or television shows from Netflix’s website. Their choice of movie or TV show DVD was then mailed to the customers in a return envelope. This distribution was done through one of Netflix’s 100 distribution centres.

Fast forward to 2010 when Netflix began their streaming-only plan that offered unlimited streaming service, but no more DVDs, as the concept of DVDs was vanishing fast. By 2016, the company was present in 190 countries and territories. As of 2021, Netflix had more than 2,400 original titles to its credit, among which House of Cards, Orange is the new Black, and more recently, Squid Game, became a cult favourites among its viewers.

What happened suddenly?

CNBC TV18 states that Netflix’s slow growth can be pointed out to two things. First, the company has blamed the global macro-economic conditions in some parts of the world where the Covid-19 pandemic hit the hardest. Another is that the company has quietly confessed to their investors about the growing global competition with Disney+, HBO Max and other regional platforms that are tearing into its revenue growth.

India has recently seen a boom in digital streaming platforms where companies offer movies, TV shows, sports, original series and various other content, either developed in-house or have bought over rights. Among the many available streaming platforms, the top two competitors that Netflix is facing in the country are Disney+Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video. Their prices are equally or more competitive, and the content is regional. It’s being said in the Indian market that Netflix has around 4.5 million active subscribers.

What are the prices and subscriber count of competitive streaming platforms compared to Netflix?

Subscriber Count Prices


4.5million Mobile: ₹149/month

Basic: ₹199/month

Standard: ₹499/month

Premium: ₹649 month

Amazon Prime Video 17 million Monthly: ₹179

Quarterly: ₹ 459

Annually: ₹1499


Disney + Hotstar 36 million Super: ₹899/year

Premium: ₹1499/year

Premium: ₹299/year

In India, not only are Amazon Prime Video and Disney+Hotstar boasting a high subscriber count, their content is uniquely regional. For example, Amazon Prime Video acquired the rights to stream KGF Chapter 2, which created history in Indian cinema and worldwide became the highest-grossing film. In addition, they have cult classic movies like The Family Man, KGF Chapter 1 and 2, and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (ZNMD). Disney+Hotstar, on the other hand, has all the classic Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars movies along with different regional and sports content.

Though Netflix has its own set of cult classic TV shows and movies, compared to its competition, they fall flat. The platform tried to create original shows, and one of them, which turned out to be one of the best Netflix shows, was the 2021 Korean Drama series Squid Game. But other than Squid Game’s craze, Netflix has not come out with any memorable original content in India.

Archies, Star Kids and Trolls

On May 14, Zoya Akhtar released the first look and trailer for her upcoming film Archies, on Netflix, featuring an ensemble of star kids. The cast includes debutants Agastya Nanda (Amitabh Bachchan’s grandson), Suhana Khan (Shah Rukh Khan’s daughter) and Khushi Kapoor (Sridevi’s daughter) who will play the roles of Archie Andrews, Veronica Lodge and Betty Cooper, respectively. The cast, Zoya and Netflix are heavily being trolled online by netizens who feel nepotism is seen in bold in the trailer. People are even pointing out Netflix’s nosediving share prices.

So, if Netflix wants to see a better performance in a massive market like India, real, relatable content that works with the masses needs to be put forth.

Share This Article