Most ‘broadcasters’ accept a three-to-four or more year wait for profits to start flowing after a launch into a new market. Not so at Netflix, which has achieved profitability in its first year of activity in India. Netflix files its accounts with India’s Registrar of Companies.
The profit was modest, at just $290,000 (on revenues of $7.8 million), but the business only entered the Indian market in January 2016 and then without much in the way of specific Indian content. It didn’t open its Indian offices until September 2017 having moved supervision from Singapore.
“There’s over 300 million mobile phone subscriptions or households… So there’s a huge market and people in India like around the world love watching television,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings had said at an investor call a fortnight ago. “Now, we will take one million at a time and figure out how to expand the market as we grow. We will go from expanding beyond English into Hindi and then into many more languages, more pricing options, more bundling, all of those things are possible.”
Netflix is far from alone in the Indian OTT space. It has about 30 rivals in India.