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Netflix in India: Who Will Be Its Partners?.

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Finally, digital video player Netflix has made its entry into the Indian market, along with 130 other markets in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

With this global launch, consumers from around the world will be able to enjoy TV shows and movies on nearly any Internet-connected device including personal computers, tablets, smartphones, Smart TVs and game consoles.

“Today you are witnessing the birth of a new global Internet TV network,” said CEO Reed Hastings, who made the announcement at CES 2016. “With this launch, consumers around the world — from Singapore to St. Petersburg, from San Francisco to Sao Paolo — will be able to enjoy TV shows and movies simultaneously — no more waiting. With the help of the Internet, we are putting power in consumers¹ hands to watch whenever, wherever and on whatever device.”

Netflix is the world¹s leading Internet television network with over 70 million members in over 190 countries enjoying more than 125 million hours of TV shows and movies per day, including original series, documentaries and feature films. In 2016, the company plans to release 31 new and returning original series, two dozen original feature films and documentaries, a wide range of stand-up comedy specials and 30 original kids series — available at the same time to members everywhere.

For one monthly price, members around the world will be able to enjoy Netflix original series including Marvel’s Daredevil and Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Narcos, Sense8, Grace and Frankie, and Marco Polo, as well as a catalog of licensed TV shows and movies. In 2016, the company plans to release 31 new and returning original series, two dozen original feature films and documentaries, a wide range of stand-up comedy specials and 30 original kids series — available at the same time to members everywhere.

While largely available in English in most new countries, Netflix today added Arabic, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese to the 17 languages it already supports.

“From today onwards, we will listen and we will learn, gradually adding more languages, more content and more ways for people to engage with Netflix,” said Hastings. “We’re looking forward to bringing great stories from all over the world to people all over the world.”

Netflix is available on virtually any device that has an Internet connection, including personal computers, tablets, smartphones, Smart TVs and game consoles, and automatically provides the best possible streaming quality based on available bandwidth. Many titles, including Netflix original series and films, are available in high-definition with Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound and some in Ultra HD 4K.

Partnerships

Rajiv Vaidya, CEO Spuul India comments, “One of the key trends that will drive growth in 2016 is 4G penetration. Streaming video requires high fidelity networks with consistent speeds of at least 2-3 MBPS to deliver a buffer free experience. The launch of more 4G services should dramatically reduce data costs thus increasing usage of video on demand(VOD).”

On these notes, Netflix’s renewed focus in Indian market has been driven by the fact that 4G is becoming mainstream in the country, with Airtel, Vodafone and Idea already launching 4G services and Reliance Jio offering the services to public by mid-2016.

Meanwhile, The Hindu Business Line reports that: “Netflix could enter India through a partnership with a local telecom firm to take advantage of [their] 4G networks.”

The report adds: “This is the only logical route for the company to take, and it is rooted in precedent. But it also violates net neutrality, and badly at that. Zero-rating harms other companies providing the same category of service, like Google Play, Spuul, Zooq, Ogle, Eros Now, Hotstar, and several others that aspire to provide streamed content. These services rely on an even playing field, and Netflix partnering with a 4G network (most probably Airtel or Reliance Jio) deprives them of that right. It also deprives customers of any other streaming service, as broadband caps are low, and streaming movies and TV shows on mobile networks is unsustainable.”

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