While Netflix is the clear king of streaming in the US, a different story is playing out in India. In a nation that has more internet connected users than the entire population of the US, Amazon Prime is far and away the industry leader.
Right now, India has approximately 460 million internet users. While that only accounts for about 1/3 of the country’s population, it’s a number that’s on the rise. And out of those internet users who subscribe to a video service, nearly 75% of them get Amazon Prime, compared to just 63% for Netflix.
Amazon has made a huge push in India over the past year, so it makes sense that customers are responding. Even though Amazon Prime has only been available in India since July of last year, and Amazon Video only since December, the streaming video service is already wildly popular. Most experts attribute that to the service’s price.
Amazon Video in India usually costs 999 rupees (about $15 a month). But when Prime Video launched, Amazon slashed that price in half, to 500 rupees. That’s not-coincidentally the price for Netflix a month. And when you consider all the extra benefits that Amazon users get, it’s not a tough decision. And when you consider that Amazon is making a concerted effort to include local content, with films and TV shows in Hindi, Tamil, and Bengali, plus partnerships with India’s biggest film studios and actors, it’s easy to see why it’s the current leader in the nation.
Of course, Netflix and Amazon aren’t necessarily targeting the same demographics. Netflix offers mostly Western programming, which appeals more to the younger, more affluent generation. Netflix has invested in some local content, but it has nowhere near what its competitors do. And if Netflix wants to expand beyond the demographic it’s focusing on now, local content will be key.