• Netflix’s three streaming plans in the United States have received multiple price increases in recent years, but Netflix is headed in a different direction in other markets.
  • The company first began testing a special mobile-only streaming plan in India back in December 2018 before launching it last year for about $3 per month.
  • Now, this low-cost streaming plan is being made available in two additional markets, though it will likely never launch in the US.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

Over the past few years, Netflix’s monthly plan prices have gotten more and more expensive. As of March 2020, Netflix’s Basic plan that includes lower-resolution streaming on one screen at a time costs $8.99 per month. The Netflix Standard plan that includes 1080p streaming on up to two simultaneous screens is $12.99 a month. Finally, Netflix’s Premium plan with 4K streaming, 1080p streaming, and support for up to four simultaneous streams climbed recently to $15.99 each month.

Ask anyone in the US who subscribes to Netflix and he or she will likely tell you that it’s worth every penny. Of that, there is precious little question. No other streaming media service offers as much content or as much high-quality original content as Netflix. In fact, Netflix is releasing a whopping 55 new original series, movies, and specials over the course of the month in March 2020 alone. As great as the service is, however, there are plenty of people who would love the opportunity to get a more limited streaming plan and pay less money each month. That option might never be made available in the US, but it does exist elsewhere.

Back in December 2018, Netflix began testing a special new plan in India. For the equivalent of about $3 per month, people could subscribe to a special plan that lets them stream only to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. The test apparently went quite well because Netflix launched the plan more widely in India and then in Malaysia this past summer.

The plan is intended to make Netflix more accessible to users in emerging markets where people generally have less disposable income to spend on entertainment. Netflix sees a boost in those markets because the service becomes accessible to so many more users who otherwise never would have considered subscribing. The plan will almost certainly never make it to the US despite the popularity of mobile devices, mainly because people in first-world countries tend to have bigger budgets allocated to things like entertainment. While it likely won’t ever make it to US shores, Netflix has expanded its $3 mobile-only plan into two additional markets.

Netflix Thailand on Thursday morning tweeted about the availability of the new mobile-only streaming plan, which will cost 99 Thai baht in the region. As GMA News reported, the plan is also launching in the Philippines where it will cost 149 Philippine pesos per month. “We are launching a new plan for the Philippines… We are super excited to announce that it will be offered for P149 only,” Netflix executive Patrick Flemming said during a virtual press conference. Both of those prices work out to about $3 per month, which is in line with the current mobile-only streaming plans that are available in India and Malaysia.

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than a decade, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.