Netflix Is 'Very Bullish' On Asia

Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) is “very bullish” on its prospects in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the company’s Vice President for Business Development in APAC Tony Zameczkowski.

“Markets like Japan, (South) Korea, India, Indonesia are definitely markets where we see significant potential, and we will continue to invest in those markets,” Zameczkowski told CNBC.

The Netflix executive said the streaming video-on-demand service provider is focused on providing localized content in the region and tailoring its plans to suit a mostly mobile audience in APAC.

A Mobile Audience: There has been an increased internet penetration in the region with mobile data plans becoming cheaper, Zameczkowski noted — leading the company to devise special subscription plans for the region.

In contrast to the United States, where the standard plan costs about $14, Netflix offers monthly subscriptions priced below $5 in the APAC region. In India, the company’s cheapest mobile-only plan at the moment costs around $2.69 (INR 199).

Zameczkowski told CNBC that Netflix benefits from the “great infrastructure” and cheaper data plans from Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio as it allows the people to “gain access to Netflix.”

The Los Gatos, California-based company has a partnership with Jio. It offers free mobile-only access to the latter’s post-paid subscription customers, the Hindustan Times reported.

Localized Content: Netflix has spent the past four years working towards improving the relevance of its content to the local audience in the APAC region, as per Zameczkowski.

The SVOD service provider has looked to dub more of its content in local languages like Hindi, Malay, Korean, Japanese, Thai, and Bahasa Indonesia — or otherwise add subtitles.

Netflix has also made its app interface available in several local languages, the executive said in the CNBC interview.

The company has spent $400 million in India alone to develop or license local content since 2019.

Why It Matters: Netflix reported a slowdown in subscriber growth in its third quarter, last month. The company added 2.2 million paid net subscribers in Q3, compared to the 6.8 million in the year-ago quarter.

Loup Ventures co-founder Gene Munster said Netflix was “driving into a dead end” and the company can’t continue with the same playbook and “yield the same results, that same price appreciation.”

As part of its efforts to grow in the APAC region, the company most-recently announced plans to give users free weekend access in select markets, starting with India.

Netflix trails rival services, Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) Prime Video and the Walt Disney Company’s (NYSE: DIS) Hotstar in India — in terms of the number of subscribers — which each hold 20% of India's SVOD market share compared to Netflix's 15%, according to Statista. It also faces intense competition from other services like Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s (OTC: TCEHY) iflix in other Asian markets.

Price Action: Netflix shares closed 0.19% higher at $514.73 on Friday.

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