Netflix, Amazon Prime are newest weapons in India’s telecom struggle – ET Telecom

By Ashutosh Joshi and Devidutta Tripathy

India’s telecom value struggle is again, and this time the battle is being fought with freebies.

After asserting the primary tariff enhance in three years in 2019, telecom carriers are providing incentives equivalent to subscriptions to providers from Netflix to Amazon Prime to win clients in a content-hungry market.

With theaters in India, among the many largest movie markets globally by variety of tickets bought, closed on account of pandemic restrictions, the demand for leisure content material has shifted on-line. Several big-budget native movies have been launched on streaming platforms this yr.

On Tuesday, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., the nation’s largest telecom firm by subscribers, launched a brand new Rs 399 plan for customers who go for month-to-month billing as an alternative of pay-as-you-go packs. Besides 75 gigabytes of knowledge, clients would get entry to Netflix on a cellular machine and one-year subscription to 2 over-the-top purposes and entry to Jio’s film and songs library.

“Reliance Jio’s new postpaid plans offer more content and come at 20% discount” to Bharti Airtel Ltd., analysts at Jefferies India Pvt. stated in a report back to shoppers. Bharti’s comparable entry-level plan is priced at Rs 499 and affords the identical quantity of knowledge however doesn’t embrace entry to Disney+ Hotstar and Netflix, whereas Vodafone Idea Ltd.’s plan affords 40GB knowledge and doesn’t embrace any of the three on-line platforms, in line with analysts.

Over the previous 4 years, the variety of customers choosing month-to-month billing of cellular providers has come down sharply and such customers now kind about 5% of the full 1.14 billion subscribers and generate 15% of the sector’s income, in line with Jefferies analysts.

Although Jio launched its postpaid plans in 2018, the corporate’s choices didn’t see a lot traction, showcasing ‘stickiness’ of this base of shoppers, in line with Morgan Stanley analysts.

“This time extremely aggressive content offerings could be the key attraction for consumers,” Emkay Global Financial Services Ltd. analysts Naval Seth and Sonali Shah stated in a word. They count on Bharti and Vodafone Idea to comply with Jio with comparable tie-ups with OTT platforms to retain the month-to-month invoice paying clients whose common month-to-month spending is increased than the pay as you go customers.

Bharti Airtel has misplaced almost 9%, whereas Vodafone Idea has fallen 12.7% in two periods since Jio introduced the improved postpaid plans.

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