Netflix already boasts over 60 million subscribers in about 50 countries, but if you ask CEO Reed Hastings, the company is just getting started. Ultimately, Netflix hopes to completely dominate media consumption across the globe, a strategy which will really kick into high gear once the streaming video service opens up for business in India.
According to a report in the Times of India, Netflix has already begun solidifying plans to enter the Indian market in 2016. What makes the move so significant is that India leads the world in internet growth across both mobile and desktop platforms. While bandwidth speeds there do leave much to be desired, the business potential there can’t be ignored.
Time recently shed some light on the burgeoning Indian market and why it’s such a strategic location for Netflix:
India has over 240 million Internet users, and added 63 million new users last year… It is the second largest market for Facebook and LinkedIn, and Amazon and Alibaba are duking it out for dominance of India’s $6 billion online retail industry. Clearly, the country is a potential cash cow for a company like Netflix.
Indeed, the number of internet users in India lags only behind China and the United States.
But India is just one part of Netflix’s plan for global domination. By 2017, the company has indicated its plan to expand into 200 countries. In a letter to shareholders penned in early 2015, Netflix said that “acceleration to 200 countries is largely made possible by the tremendous growth of the Internet in general, including on phones, tablets and smart TVs.”
When reached for comment by the Times of India, Netflix reaffirmed that their goal to be “nearly global” by the start of 2017.
All that said, Netflix’s aspirations aren’t without challenges. As Variety noted a few months back, calibrating a Netflix launch for varying markets isn’t always a straightforward affair.
Each individual country will require unique attention in terms of product packaging, marketing and delivery. Many countries have very specific regulations about privacy and how companies bill customers, according to [Howard] Bass. In addition, payment systems in each country are very different: “You have to work out the right payment system and currency,” Bass said. “People pay with prepaid phone cards and other mechanisms.”