Netflix India is reportedly testing a new tier of subscription plan, called ‘Mobile Plus’. The new plan is squarely targeted at those who do not stream Netflix content on TVs, and do most of their viewing on phones, tablets or laptops. In terms of the offering, the plan sits between the SD-quality ‘Basic’ subscription plan, and the newer ‘Mobile’ plan that Netflix introduced for select markets including India, in a bid to boost their subscriber count in the country. The new plan is still being tested, which means that it may not show up for all subscribers in India.
In terms of the plan’s offering, the Rs 349 ‘Mobile Plus’ subscription plan gives subscribers a way to enjoy HD streaming on Netflix without needing to subscribe to at least the ‘Standard’ tier plan. For Rs 349, subscribers will get single screen access only, meaning that only one device can stream using this account at a particular point of time. Furthermore, subscribers will be able to stream Netflix content on their phones, tablets and laptops using this plan. However, a report by Gadgets 360 states that the Mobile Plus plan will not offer streaming on Netflix’s TV apps, therefore restricting the scope of the plan only to those who mostly watch Netflix on the move. That said, one big benefit of the plan is its support for HD streaming, which so far could be availed with at least the Standard plan (priced at Rs 649 per month).
The plan is hence ideally suited for users who want to stream Netflix content in HD on their phones and laptops, and do not require the added TV app support. Calculated on an annual basis, the new plan will help users save up to Rs 3,600, hence bringing down the minimum cost of accessing Netflix in HD by a fair margin. So far, Netflix’s single-account Mobile plan only allows single screen access for streaming on phones and tablets (no laptop support) in SD quality for Rs 199, while the the Basic plan allows single screen streaming (laptops and TV included) in SD for Rs 499.
Netflix is likely targeting India’s massive internet user base with this more affordable plan, in a video streaming market that now has numerous popular players including Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ Hotstar as Netflix’s major rivals, and the likes of Zee5, Sony Liv, Alt Balaji, Eros Now, Voot, Viu and many other streaming services playing a bit-part role. However, comparatively taken, Netflix’s plans are still more expensive in comparison with its competition. For instance, Amazon offers all-inclusive Prime subscriptions to users for Rs 999 per year (including access to Prime Music, Prime delivery service on Amazon’s e-commerce platform and more), while Disney+ Hotstar offers two tiers of subscriptions – an all-inclusive Hotstar Premium plan for Rs 299 per month (or Rs 1,499 per year), and a partial Hotstar VIP plan for Rs 399 per month. Both the competing services offer their content at a significantly lesser rate.
That said, Netflix has long been hailed for offering one of the best original content programming around the world, and of late, has also produced a number of India originals to rope in more viewers in the country. With the new Mobile Plus plan presently in testing, it remains to be seen if Netflix significantly benefits by offering this limited-access subscription plan to viewers who mostly stream on mobile devices.