How Netflix Lost Big to Amazon in India
Abhishek Madhavan

India’s Tech Reporting & their love for “Astrology” needs to stop

We need to stop predicting & choosing winner based on ridiculous metrics. 2015 should have taught us that.

First off, Netflix might really lose a lot of market share globally to Amazon video, but if it does, it won’t be because India is different and is an amalgamation of many different markets divided by language, religion and class. Yes Indians need a certain level of “Indian-ness” in their products, but that is more of an Onboarding and familiarity feature in most cases so that the product does not feel completely foreign, something true for any country or language.

The real problem with India is, we love free and discounted. Free is the the reason Reliance Jio has grown to 50 M subscribers. When Reliance initially launched in 2002 , they had the same modus operandi, throw money at the growth problem. They did grow for a while, but you can’t sustain a business if you are not constantly growing. As such, Jio & Reliance combined still don’t match up to the Top 3 players. Next Quarter’s reports will throw more light on the subject.

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Coming back to Netflix vs Amazon Prime video, If Amazon video had launched with the same price but with only english content, it might still have hop scotched over Netflix subscribers numbers. We know for a fact that Amazon Prime sold a lot of subscriptions during the festive season Diwali, and I am pretty sure that number was higher than Netflix’s India subscriber based. Addition of Prime Video just made the Prime package better.

More importantly I don’t think it matters who wins, it is not a winner take all market, The Cab wars proved that (unless you live in China).

For Amazon to win, Netflix does not have to loose

And for a fact, Netflix understands that, which is why they are doing original content. And Original content is the reason the markets of Netflix & Amazon will never completely overlap, and there will be profits to be made.

Another point to note is Indian’s are not buying Netflix to watch Indian TV shows, they are to watch Netflix content, has anyone complained Netflix does not have Indian content? Many did complain of the lack of Western content . It would also be interesting to get to know how many HotStar users are using the App only to watch Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley and Westworld.

As a side note, the article fails to mention YouTube anywhere, the amount of video consumed by Indians on YouTube is crazy, it seems to be the only way new parents can calm their kids down at social gatherings, not to forget, YouTube is free!