Netflix, Amazon and 21st Century Fox fight for Indian phone-mad consumers
India, with a population of 1.3-billion people and 700-million phone users, is the next financial frontier for streaming content creators
Bangaluru — Meghal Karekar is hooked on watching smartphone videos, an addiction shared with 200-million fellow Indians that has the world’s streaming giants beating a path to his door. “Everywhere I go during my work day — the security guards at client offices, the receptionists, people lining up for the elevator — are on heads-down, earphones-on mode,” said Karekar, an architect from Bangalore. “India has always been movie-mad, but the mobile phone is taking the screen mania to another level.”
As smartphone adoption surges, along with the networks capable of transmitting high-quality videos, the nascent Indian market is seeing explosive growth that is attracting everyone from Netflix to Jeff Bezos and Rupert Murdoch. They are creating original programming, developing native-language content, and fine-tuning their pricing strategies in the country of 1.3-billion people to get consumers to pay.