Netflix expected to enter India by 2016, DTH players gearing up for competition

India loves movies. And streaming has been growing phenomenally in the recent past. Yet, there is a dearth of movie streaming services such as Netflix.

India loves movies. And streaming has been growing phenomenally in the recent past. Yet, there is a dearth of movie streaming services such as Netflix. A consistent impediment in the recent past, in addition to licensing hassles, has been the long debate around net neutrality in India.

According to a report in the Times of India, "US-based Netflix, has firmed up plans to enter India by 2016, according to people familiar with the matter. This has sent domestic DTH players into a tizzy with some of the major ones chalking out strategies to diversify beyond television. On the cards are iconic shows including Buniyaad, Nukkad and Malgudi Days on various mobile devices across iOS and Android."

The report quoted a Netflix spokesperson, "We have said we plan to be nearly global by the end of 2016. We have nothing else to share at this point." Local DTH players such as Tata Sky are taking the app route to enable viewing on mobile devices.

News reports of plans by Netflix to enter India aren’t new. Since 2013, there has been frequent speculation of Netflix entering India. From licensing costs and internet infrastructure to the diversity of genres, several factors have been attributed as reasons streaming services such as Netflix haven’t started in India yet.

Given the high bandwidth consumption by services such as Netflix, ISPs have been known to throttle bandwidth to dissuade use of the streaming service. According to a report in The Verge, “Five major internet service providers in the US and one in Europe have been accused of abusing their market share to interfere with the flow of the internet for end users.”

Last month, streaming service HOOQ announced 'its HOOQ app for mobiles and PCs will let you stream and download movies and TV shows at a price of Rs 199 per month.' Similar streaming services by Amazon are also expected to woo Indian consumers in the near future.

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