Netflix, popular for providing subscription-based on-demand Internet streaming service, is now available in India, as it expands its reach to more than 190 countries around the world.
The company, which describes itself as the "world's leading Internet television network", announced its increasing global footprint at the ongoing CES 2016 in Las Vegas.
"Today you are witnessing the birth of a new global Internet TV network. With this launch, consumers around the world -- from Singapore to St. Petersburg, from San Francisco to Sao Paulo -- will be able to enjoy TV shows and movies simultaneously -- no more waiting," said Reed Hastings, co-founder and chief executive of Netflix.
"With the help of the Internet, we are putting power in consumers' hands to watch whenever, wherever and on whatever device," he added.
Though the service is largely available in English, it has added Arabic, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese support too. "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," Hastings said.
Since its launch in 2007, the service has been expanded to many new countries. It is already available in US, Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan and with this announcement India, Russia and Indonesia too will be part of its global reach, increasing its consumer base to over 70 million customers.
However, Netflix's services will not be available in China. Tech Crunch reported that Netflix is in talks with Alibaba about a possible partnership, but this is not likely to materialise as Alibaba recently launched its own subscription-based streaming service in China.
Netflix will require its users to have Internet connection and works on all platforms such as PC, tablets, smartphones, Smart TVs or game consoles. The streaming quality will be based on the available bandwidth. Netflix comes in high-definition with Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound and some content is also available in Ultra HD 4K.
Those signing up on its website will be eligible for free service for the first month. The Basic service will cost Rs 500 (with no HD or Ultra HD), Standard service is priced at Rs 650 (HD available but no Ultra HD) and Premium service will set you back by Rs 800 (includes HD, Ultra HD, watchable on 4 screens). The India subscription rates are aligned to that of the US rates.
One of the issues that Netflix might face in India is low broadband penetration in some areas.
Meanwhile, Netflix is not without competition in India. Recently HOOQ, a start-up joint venture between Singtel, Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros, launched a similar service for Rs 199. HOOQ also offers more than 10,000 Indian movies and TV shows and boasts a tie up with over 50 studios.
Other competitors for Neflix in India could be HotStar of Star India network, Wynk Music and Movies of Bharti Airtel.