Netflix Considering Mobile-Only Subscriptions For African Market

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar

Last year, Netflix announced that they would be introducing mobile-only plans in India, with cheaper subscription prices around half the standard price.

A few months after rolling out this plan, Netflix shared some sentiments and the product was a hit:

It’s actually performing better than we tested. We’ll look at testing that in other markets, too, because we think there are other markets which have similar conditions that make it likely that, that’s going to be successful for us there as well.

Gregory Peters – Netflix Chief Strategy Officer

It turns out that Netflix is considering bringing the mobile-centric packages to South African subscribers. Netflix’s Chief Content Officer recently said they are considering a mobile-only plan but that might take some time:

In India recently we introduced a mobile-only programme. Prior to doing that, we spend a lot of time in India – producing a lot of original content, building the subscriber base, building a relationship with consumers and all those things so that we do it well.

So I would not be surprised to see some more things for Africa as we go, but we’re launching our very first original today, so you can see where we’re at in that cycle

Ted Sarandos – Netflix Chief Content

Last Friday, Netflix introduced their original Queen Sono and though I only watched a single episode, I think they’ve gotten off to a promising start. Whilst the mobile-only plan sounds like it might still be a while away, one thing Netflix will have on its side if it does bring the mobile-only service to market is the fact that in most African countries, the smartphone is the primary computing device.

The lower asking price will also no doubt be a big decider of how that specific package is adopted in the price-conscious African market.

Another thing to contend with is the data usage in African markets, which is different from that of other developed markets. This is something Netflix feels they’ve already optimised:

Remember that Netflix is pretty well-optimised for challenged markets, so it works very well at slower speeds. Offline downloading really was developed for this use.

What we found was that in countries that are more developing, they adapt their behaviour so that when they have Wi-Fi they do a lot of things quickly.

So your ability to download offline quickly and watch on mobile is second to none.

Ted Sarandos

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