Netflix is considering rolling out a cheaper subscription service, and it’s raising a lot of questions.
According to science and technology blog Tech Crunch, Netflix is thinking about offering a discounted, mobile-only subscription service in select markets. (RELATED: Inside Netflix’s Alleged Plan To Get Kids Hooked On Binge Watching)
Tech Crunch reported the following:
Netflix is testing a cut-price mobile-only subscription as it explores new packages aimed at widening its appeal in Asia and other emerging markets.
…The first reports are from Malaysia, where Netflix quietly rolled out a mobile-only tier priced at RM17, or around $4, each month. That’s half the price of the company’s next cheapest package — “Basic” — which retails for RM33, or around $7.90, per month.
It’s worth noting that this feature is has only been tested in Asian markets so far, but if it does well, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has big plans for his company.
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The change comes as Netflix has started to realize that its Asian consumers are less likely to use the product due to rigid, often steep pricing.
“At what point do these guys start saying ‘we need to change our pricing’,” Vivek Couto, executive director of Media Partners Asia, a consultancy, told Bloomberg. “[CEO Reed Hastings] is not going to get 100 million subscribers in India with the current strategy.”
Hastings seems to be fully aware of the disparate markets.
“We’ll take it 1 million at a time and figure out how to expand the market as we grow,” Hastings said of his efforts to expand into new territories, particularly India and Asia.
Currently, the cheapest Netflix option for American consumers is set at $7.99 per month. The streaming giant has 137 million streamers globally, gaining around seven million in the last fiscal quarter.