Last year, Netflix rolled out a cheap mobile-only subscription tier in India, Malaysia and Indonesia, and the company is planning to make it an option in more countries around the world.
In a letter to Netflix shareholders published this week, the company revealed that the mobile-only plan, which tends to cost roughly half as much as its Basic plan, is both generating growth and helping Netflix to retain users. In other words, it appears to have been a success.
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“In Q4, we launched a mobile-only plan in Malaysia and Indonesia (which we introduced to India in Q3 last year),” Netflix’s letter reads.
“We’ve seen similar results with this plan driving incremental subscriber growth and improving retention. We expect the mobile-only plan to be revenue-positive which will allow us to further invest in content to be enjoyed by our members and continue to feed the virtuous cycle.
“We plan to continue to test adding this plan, as well as additional ideas in other countries around the world.”
This is far from the first time the company has teased the possibility of launching the mobile-only plan further afield, and it’s good to hear that it’s still a part of Netflix’s plans.
But what are the benefits and drawbacks of the mobile plan?
The main selling point is its price. In Malaysia, the mobile-only plan costs MYR 17 (~£3.18) per month, while the Basic tier comes in at MYR 33 − almost double the price.
In India, the mobile-only plan costs 199 rupees (~£2.13) a month, with the Basic tier costing 499 rupees − more than twice as much.
In Indonesia it’s IDR 49,000 (~£2.74) per month. The basic plan costs IDR 109,000 − more than twice the price.
The most obvious drawback is that the mobile-only plan only lets you watch Netflix on a single smartphone or tablet. And no, you can’t get around this with a Google Chromecast. Furthermore, picture quality tops out at standard definition.
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Netflix hasn’t yet given any sort of indication as to where its mobile-only plan will land next, but it would be nice to see it arrive as an option in the UK at some point.
Unfortunately for us though, its main purpose seems to be attracting new Netflix users, and as far as we know the streaming service is doing pretty well here already.