Netflix is a widely known streaming service that has taken the world by storm. With millions of subscribers worldwide, it has revolutionized how people watch movies and TV shows. However, when it comes to India, the world’s largest entertainment market, Netflix struggles to win over viewers. The popular streaming service launched in India in 2016 with high expectations from both viewers and the industry. As of April 2023, Netflix has around 6-7 million subscribers in India, a small number compared to the country’s massive population. While the streaming giant’s arrival was highly anticipated, it has struggled to make a mark in the world’s largest entertainment market. In this article, we will explore why is Netflix struggling to win over Indian viewers.
Shocking Reasons Netflix Struggling to Win Over Indian Entertainment Industry
- Language Barrier:
Another reason why is Netflix struggling in India is the language barrier. India is a diverse country with many regional languages. Netflix’s content is primarily in English, which limits its appeal to the masses. Although Netflix has started producing more Indian content recently, most of its library is still in English. To win over Indian viewers, Netflix needs to offer more regional language content to cater to the diverse audience.
- Lack of local content:
Netflix’s library of Indian content is still relatively small compared to its competitors. This is a major disadvantage for Netflix in a market where local content is highly valued. While Netflix has produced some successful Indian originals like Sacred Games and Delhi Crime, it still lags behind Amazon Prime and Disney+Hotstar regarding the number of Indian titles available. Netflix needs to invest more in local content creation to win over Indian viewers.
- Leadership Issues
There have been leadership issues at Netflix India that have contributed to the company’s struggles in the country. Netflix India has had multiple leadership changes since its launch in 2016. In 2020, the company’s Vice President for India and the Middle East, Monika Shergill, stepped down from her role after only four years with the company. This surprised many in the industry, and there were rumours that there were differences between Shergill and Netflix’s global leadership. Contemplating such leadership challenges, the Bahubali prequel, which was planned to premiere on the streaming platform, now seems to plug off by the streaming service.
- Internet Connectivity:
Although India has the second-highest number of internet users in the world, the quality of internet connectivity in the country is still a major issue. Streaming services like Netflix require high-speed internet, which is not readily available in many parts of the country. This limits the frequency of people who can access Netflix and affects its growth in the Indian market.
Piracy is a significant issue in India, and Netflix’s content is not immune to it. The platform has been unable to protect its content from piracy, making it easily available on torrent websites. This is a significant concern for Netflix, as Indian viewers have easy access to pirated content and may choose not to pay for the service.
Netflix faces stiff competition from local streaming platforms and other international players in India. Amazon Prime Video, Disney+Hotstar, and Zee5 are among the top competitors in the Indian market, each offering a different range of content and pricing plans. This competition makes it difficult for Netflix to stand out in the crowd.
- Limited library
Netflix’s library in India is limited compared to other markets. Due to content licensing issues and local censorship laws, Netflix cannot offer some of its most popular shows and movies to Indian viewers. This limits the platform’s appeal to Indian audiences who have different preferences and expectations of the service.
- Lack of user-generated content
One of the unique features of Indian entertainment is the abundance of user-generated content. Platforms like TikTok, MX Player, and Instagram Reels have millions of users in India who create and share their content. Netflix does not have a similar feature, which limits its appeal to the younger generation in India.
Netflix struggling to win over Indian viewers can be attributed to various factors such as piracy, competition, limited library, and lack of user-generated content. While Netflix has made efforts to produce more local content and cater to Indian audiences, it must address these issues to succeed in the Indian market. By improving its content library, offering competitive pricing plans, and embracing user-generated content, Netflix can increase its appeal to Indian viewers and grow its subscriber base in the country.
More Solutions Netflix Can Implement to Improve its Graph in India
While we have discovered the potential reasons why is Netflix struggling in India, there are some solutions as well that help the streaming giant succeed in the country by implementing the following solutions:
- Focus on producing more local content:
To cater to Indian audiences, Netflix must focus on producing more local content in different languages. India has a diverse culture and tastes, and creating content that resonates with its audiences can help Netflix build a loyal fan base.
- Offer competitive pricing plans:
To compete with other streaming platforms in India, Netflix must offer more affordable pricing plans that cater to different market segments. By offering different pricing plans and making them more accessible, Netflix can attract more subscribers in India.
- Embrace user-generated content:
User-generated content is popular among younger audiences in India. By embracing user-generated content and creating features that allow users to create and share their content, Netflix can appeal to a younger demographic in the country.
- Address piracy:
Piracy remains a significant challenge for Netflix in India. The company needs to improve its content protection measures and make its content less accessible on piracy websites.
The future of Netflix in India depends on how well it addresses these challenges and implements these solutions. With a growing demand for streaming services in the country, there is still ample opportunity for Netflix to increase its subscriber base and succeed in the Indian market. By focusing on local content, offering competitive pricing plans, and embracing user-generated content, Netflix can build a loyal fan base in India and secure its position in the Indian streaming market.
Some Quick Facts About Netflix:
- The company was set up in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph, headquartered in Los Gatos, California.
- In January 2022, Netflix had over 209 million subscribers worldwide, making it the largest streaming service globally in the previous year.
- Netflix is available in over 190 countries, including India, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
- The company offers its subscribers a range of pricing plans, including a basic plan, a standard plan, and a premium plan.
- Netflix won several awards for its original content, including 43 Emmy Awards in 2021.
- Some of Netflix’s most popular shows include Stranger Things, The Crown, Narcos, Bridgerton, and Money Heist.
- Netflix invests heavily in producing original content, with a budget of $17 billion in 2021 alone.
- In addition to streaming, Netflix also offers a DVD rental service in the United States, although this service has declined in popularity in recent years.