Learn why Netflix failed in India? Why Netflix could not penetrate the Indian Market?
What is Netflix? Netflix is the world’s most popular streaming platform. It has a huge collection of the most popular films and television shows. Netflix offers a range of subscription plans, ranging from advertisements-supported to ads-free. At present, Netflix has more than 220 million customers across more than 190 locations and countries.
Read about Why Netflix failed in India
Netflix has grown from its initial DVD service to an all-inclusive streaming media service in 2007. Netflix provides users with the ability to stream their favorite shows in various formats and on various devices. For instance, users can make an “Because they watched” carousel on their homepage, which displays videos that are highly recommended to them based upon their previous habits of watching. You can also take things from the menu if they’re not keen on watching them.
Netflix has original content which include original dramas, comedies competition series, and foreign films. The company also produces in-house programs. Alongside these original programming The company also offers a wide selection of network shows that are popular. These comprise Orange Is the New Black The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt House of Cards and Stranger Things.
In the last couple of decades, Netflix have made it easier for users to discover new content. The company launched mysterious boxes earlier in the year along with the ability for users to take content off their homepage. One of the key features is the capability to make use of its algorithm for recommendation to generate specific recommendations based upon a viewer’s past watching experience. In addition to suggestions, the company owns an impressive library of original movies, original series and documentaries.
While Netflix provides its users with the ability to browse its huge collection of content, it is also an industry leader in the creation of original content. Since 2013 Netflix has created more than 1500 original films, which include animated movies, comedies documentaries, and the adaptations of fantasy books. The titles are only available for those who have a paid subscription.
The most well-known Netflix original show is likely The Squid Game. It’s a funny comedy that’s been seen by more than 188,356 people during 1.65 billion total hours. Other noteworthy Netflix Originals are the comedy show Bridgerton and the reality program Orange Is the New Black.
The company’s popularity grew as it grew, it began focusing more on creating original content. In 2021, the company had made more than 2400 original films television shows, as well as documentaries. Alongside these it has greater than 1500 unique TV shows. Despite its popularity, company has encountered a range of issues in keeping subscribers. The company has plans to achieve cash flow neutral by 2021.
Although the service is designed at customers but it’s faced some problems with privacy and sharing of passwords. According to a report by the Leichtman Research Group, one-third of Netflix accounts are shared with outside users paying for their subscription. So, Netflix is currently implementing several strategies to stop the sharing of passwords.
With its AI-powered algorithm Netflix has created customized recommendations for its customers. Every recommendation is based on data from five billion movie reviews and is continuously changing in line with the changing the preferences of its users.
To reach a definite answer, it requires a lot of market research but here are 7 reasons that I observed and are so obvious “Why Netflix failed in India?”.
- INDIANS NEED MORE
That’s true. Indians need to have more than just the world’s best series like Friends, Squid Games, The Crown, etc. These series simply don’t attract the masses. They are watched primarily by college students, office going audience and few others. These are the people who understand the type of content, culture of content and are interested in it. Other Indians, who are daily soap viewers, simply don’t care about that. They can see top shows once in a while, but they need to have something more. PrimeVideo offers “Delivery Service + Entertainment”. Disney+Hotstar offers “Sports + Entertainment”. What does Netflix offer? “Entertainment + ____?____”.
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Let’s read on more points why Netflix failed in India.
- INDIANS LOVE SPORTS
Sports is something that is common in every Indian household. All Netflix competitors have sports in it. Disney+Hotstar and PrimeVideo are the best examples. Even Voot has rights to many football leagues and cricket leagues. Without sports, Netflix will always have a giant entry barrier to mass audience. India is a place where we follow sports events religiously and worship the sports celebrities. Indian Premier League, ISL, Premier League, La Liga, Champions League, Pro Kabaddi League, etc. are examples of a few sporting events. It won’t be wrong to say who dominates the sports category will dominate the OTT platforms. I feel this is an important factor to understand why Netflix failed in India.
- UNCENSORED NUDITY
Out of the total Indian population, there is a small group who watch the shows alone. Like I mentioned earlier, these are college students and office goers living away from home and small fraction that doesn’t fit the aforementioned two categories. In India, it is difficult to watch your favorite series or movie on Netflix with family. It is because of the fear of scenes containing nudity can come at any time. Censored content can make a big difference.
- WE LIVE WITH FAMILY
Most of us still loves to watch shows with family as we still live with them unlike western countries. In spite of us shifting towards the western world but still there is a very small percentage of people that live alone. There is a small difference of the cultures that Netflix has failed to understand. If the content can be optimized to suit the entire family rather than a small segment of people, then it can take off to new heights quickly. User Experience is more than just the Mobile/Web Interface Experience.
- NETFLIX IS A LUXURY
Netflix is considered a luxury in India because it has developed the perception of the most expensive OTT platform. The free 48 hours of Netflix really worked out in order to gain new users and gain publicity. The monthly model is not working well for Indian Audience. Comparing the rest of the OTT Platforms, they offer a yearly subscription and people buy it. No one likes to see a reminder of monthly deduction. People in India cancel it once they feel it is time. Apart from it, Netflix already has huge operating expenses due to which they can’t offer anything free. Innovation in Financial Model is highly required to enter one of the largest and fastest growing audience, that is India.
- SLEEP IS NO LONGER COMPETITION
As we have learned over time that sleep is competitor of Netflix. I completely disagree with it. According to me, it is Telegram and Torrent websites. With cheap internet available with most of the Indian population, downloading a Netflix show or movie from Torrent is easy and most viable option. Simple Keyword Research on tools like SEMRush or Ahrefs can provide a detailed report on the intention of audience in India. Torrent is just a free alternative to Netflix. Similar to Torrent, Telegram also offers a great place to host collection of Netflix shows and movies for free.
- INDIANS CAN’T RELATE
Even the content that is present on Netflix, common Indian people fail to relate with it. I won’t deny Indians have fallen for Korean content as well and that drives subscriptions. Hindi and other regional language speaking population don’t understand Korean shows translated to English. It is still overwhelming for them. If these shows are translated to Hindi or other regional languages, there is a huge possibility of people switching to Netflix. Also, Indians love Indian content. Other OTT platforms are launching excellent regional content which Netflix has surely missed.
I believe I have shared the most relevant points on why Netflix has failed in India and is struggling to impress the Indian audience. Let me know if you have any suggestion or correction in my understanding of the platform. Feel free to message me on Instagram: @grow.with.rajat.
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