Cable TV losing out to streaming apps
Streaming apps are making a dent in the business of cable TV operators. People have started opting for online streaming apps such as Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon Prime. This change in preferences has reduced the demand for local cable connections.
Hyderabad: Streaming apps are making a dent in the business of cable TV operators. People have started opting for online streaming apps such as Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon Prime. This change in preferences has reduced the demand for local cable connections.
Unlike cable TV, these streaming apps do not play advertisements or re-run the same shows. Instead, there are a variety of movies and series to choose from and this could be the reason for their popularity, especially among the youth. Ramani, a 20-year old Hotstar user, says "I prefer Hotstar because I can watch all my favorite shows at one place. I don't have to worry about missing an episode because of time constraint because all the episodes will be available online."
Laxman of City Cable says, "The younger generation are definitely switching over." Although the use of these streaming sites is only increasing, people in the city are more worried about their rising prices- with the increasing subscription in Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hotstar.
Many Netflix subscribers are about to get a bigger monthly bill. The company in January announced higher pricing for all plans — announcing its biggest price increase to date. The new rates applied to new subscribers immediately, and since then Netflix has been gradually moving existing customers to the higher-priced tiers, based on each member's billing cycle.
Under the new pricing, Netflix's Standard plan (with two HD streams) increases by $2 per month, from $10.99 to $12.99. The Premium plan, which provides up to four Ultra HD streams, is increasing from $13.99 to $15.99 per month and the Basic plan (one non-HD stream) is going up for the first time, from $7.99 to $8.99 per month.
These prices are soon to be applied in Hyderabad in June. Streaming giant Netflix is testing a mobile-only subscription in India that costs half of its basic plan. Netflix India's monthly plans begin at INR500 ($7.27), and the mobile-only plan is being trialed at INR250 ($3.63) per month.
"We are always looking for ways to make Netflix more enjoyable and accessible," a Netflix spokesperson told Variety Magazine . "We will be testing different options in select countries, where members can, for example, watch Netflix on their mobile device for a lower price and subscribe in shorter increments of time."
The spokesperson emphasised the experimental nature of Netflix's new Indian pricing tier. "Not everyone will see these options, and we may never roll out these specific plans beyond the tests," the spokesperson said.
Thanks to cheap data plans, Indians increasingly consume streaming content on their mobile devices. "I would prefer Netflix and Amazon Prime, firstly because of convenience. I can watch it in the cab on my way to work; it is better than cable TV as I have an option to continue watching shows, movies whenever I'm free without a break.
I think if the price increasing by 10% or 20% it will be worth it," said Meghna Patil "Netflix and Amazon Prime give me an opportunity of watching new released movies without a break. Even if I have missed to watch a movie on the big screen, I have can still have the same experience with the same movie streaming on these apps," said P Aditi.
By Maina Manga & Mounica Alamuri