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Netflix adds a Hindi option in India two years after Amazon Prime Video
With a tight race between Netflix and Amazon in India, can Hindi help Netflix pull ahead?

With more than 180 million subscribers, and 13.5 million added internationally as of last quarter, Netflix is the go to entertainment service in many global markets. While Netflix chief Reed Hastings has acknowledged that the company expects some viewership declines as COVID-19 abates, there are still growth opportunities for Netflix to pursue in markets where its footprint isn’t as large.

India, for example, with a population of nearly 1.4 billion people, presents a major opportunity to add to Netflix’s subscriber base. Currently, India’s streaming video entertainment is led by Amazon Prime Video, with 35% using the service, according to Interpret’s NMM: Global Profiles®, but Netflix isn’t far behind at 32%. Moreover, Netflix just added a complete Hindi interface option, which should do well to accelerate adoption for those who don’t want to be forced to use English. Netflix also intends to invest further in Indian films and series across all genres and for all generations, including hits like Sacred Games, Bulbbul, Choked: Paisa Bolta Hai and Mighty Little Bheem.

“Delivering a great Netflix experience is as important to us as creating great content. We believe the new user interface will make Netflix even more accessible and better suit members who prefer Hindi,” said Monika Shergill, VP-Content, Netflix India.

“Consumers uniquely value content that reflects local language, culture and context,” said Brett Sappington, Vice President, Interpret. “When it first went global, Netflix struggled in many markets where it had limited or no local language content. Today, Netflix’s investments in international content production are helping the company connect with consumers and significantly grow its subscriber base.”

Better late than never, but the new Hindi option comes two years after Amazon Prime Video launched its own Hindi version, as pointed out by Business Insider, which also notes that Netflix pricing in India remains higher than competitors. Still, with a new Hindi option and greater investment in Indian programming, Netflix has significant room for growth in the country. In the US and UK, Interpret data shows that Netflix commands a 56% and 54% share, respectively, of video streaming services. Whether Netflix can reach that level of penetration in India remains to be seen.

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