Has Netflix Inc dropped the ball?
Media analysts were asking the question soon after the $25 billion streaming giant’s earnings call last week. The company behind shows like The Crown, The Queen’s Gambit and Trapped is the world’s largest pay-driven OTT at 210 million subscribers. It had missed its subscriber acquisition target in the first quarter by two million. Did Disney+, which has raced to 100 million subscribers in a year, have anything to do with it? Has Netflix finally found its match?
Some of the questioning spilled into India. After five years and an estimated Rs 1,500 crore in revenues, Netflix controls a huge 45 per cent of the subscription video business. But on the number of subscribers, Disney+ Hotstar (26 million) and Amazon Prime Video (17 million) look way more impressive than Netflix’s 4.6 million. All of them were launched or came to India around 2015-2016. In 2018, Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings had declared that the firm’s next 100 million subscribers would come from India. “In the context of their ambition, the number looks small,” says a senior industry official.
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