Netflix's India content spends helping subscriptions, watch time growth


Netflix CEO Reed Hastings added: "We're just beginning to share that data as Ted mentioned and we'll be leaning into that more quarter by quarter".

Disney may have prompted concerns about Netflix's viability with a new streaming service.

Some analysts said, however, that they were not anxious about Netflix subscriber attrition in the wake of Disney+ - which will launch in November - thanks to Netflix's wide range of offerings.

The video service added 9.6 million subscribers worldwide during the first quarter of 2019, topping the projections of both Netflix's own management and Wall Street analysts.

Total revenue rose to $4.52 billion from $3.70 billion. It might be a bit unfair to compare the two new subscription services, especially since neither is available yet and both seem to have been inspired by Netflix's interface.

Disney is viewed as one of the strongest rivals thanks to a broad portfolio of franchises popular with children - from Mickey Mouse to Marvel and Star Wars - and a brand trusted by parents.

India has emerged as a key content hub for the streaming giant which has commissioned around 12 original series and about 22 original local language films in the country so far.

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The purchase of Fox has given Disney a wide variety of content that already has a built-in audience, and Disney+ will be the new home for audiences to catch tons of movies and TV shows, as well as new projects based on existing properties from the Fox library. Last week, Disney revealed a new streaming service, called Disney+, which will contain new, recently released and older titles across the company's major content pillars such as "Star Wars", Pixar and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The company expects to add just 300,000 US subscribers from April through June, down from 700,000 at the same time past year.

Netflix said in its letter to shareholders that it doesn't "anticipate that these new entrants will materially affect our growth" because transitioning from "linear to on demand entertainment is so massive" and "because of the differing nature of our content offerings".

Netflix is downplaying expectations for the 2nd quarter of 2019 though. Hulu, which is controlled by Disney, Comcast, and AT&T, had 25 million United States subscribers in 2018. The monthly payment for the basic plan is as low as 6,500 won ($5.70) when consumers limit the use of service to mobile devices.

The company burned through $3 billion in 2018 to pay for hit originals such as "Birdbox" and "Ozark".

"If Netflix can justify its own value, it can continue to drive the prices higher and I think right now, they provide enough content to certainly justify a higher price", Hargreeaves said.

Netflix's performance may help ease any worries related to a recent price hike that raised the cost of its most popular plan to $13 a month, a $2 increase.