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Netflix says its $3 mobile-only plan might expand to more markets

Published Oct 17th, 2019 2:23PM EDT
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Image: SEDAT SUNA/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

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After testing a mobile-only plan in India on a small scale, Netflix went ahead and made it available to everyone in the country a few months ago. For less than $3 a month, Netflix users in India can access the streaming service on one mobile device at a time, whether it’s a smartphone or tablet. It turns out the plan is such a success for the company that Netflix is considering opening it up to customers in other markets. Either that, or the company is already feeling the pressure of incoming streaming services that are a lot cheaper than its own plans. Disney+ has been running a few amazing deals that cut the monthly price down to less than $5, while Apple TV+ comes free for a year to millions of iPhone, Mac, and iPad buyers.

Netflix’s Chief Product Officer Gregory K. Peters said during the company’s earnings call earlier this week that Netflix has been “very, very happy with the mobile plan.” The exec added that the plan is “actually performing better than we tested” and Netflix is considering testing it in other markets that are similar to India where Netflix believes mobile-only plans might also perform well.

Peters said the company is considering “other plan structures, other feature value benefits where we might see different market conditions, that will work there,” without specifying what kind of markets Netflix may be eying for different membership pricing structure. “We’ll see them as we roll out, and we’ll respond to them based on what our consumers in those markets, our members-to-be in those markets are telling us is working or not.”

Netflix also confirmed in its letter to shareholders that it’s considering mobile-only plans for other markets:

We seek to make it easier for future members to sign up and enjoy Netflix. To that end, we rolled out a lower priced mobile plan in India in July and we’re pleased with the results. Our approach with pricing is to grow revenue and so far, uptake and retention on our mobile plan in India has been better than our initial testing suggested. This will allow us to invest more in Indian content to further satisfy our members. While still only a very small percentage of our total subscriber base, we’re continuing to test mobile-only plans in other markets.

Before you get too excited about seeing mobile-only plans in the US or other western markets, you’d better think again. This kind of offering will likely only target emerging markets for the foreseeable future.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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