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Netflix’s next 100 million subscribers to come from India

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Mumbai : Netflix is betting big on India for its global expansion. The company aims to add about 100 million subscribers from India alone as it aims to tap the Asian market with original content and affordable subscription rates. Netflix has over 50 million users in the US?and roughly 137 million subscribers globally.

“If you think about the opportunity, there’s about 450 million internet users in India and about half of them are watching video on YouTube and services like that, which makes for a very interesting, addressable market,” said Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos told CNBC on Thursday.

The company, however, faces a strong competition from the likes of Amazon which has also big plans for India. Amazon already offers Prime Video and Prime Music services along with a wide range of Alexa-powered Echo devices. The hardware catalogue includes Fire TV stick that supports popular streaming applications like Sony Liv and even Netflix.

Netflix is also competing with the local players like Hotstar and AltBalaji which have already gained popularity in the budding online streaming space. The success of these players including Amazon is mainly driven by affordable subscription plans and cross-platform licensing deals.

This has forced Netflix to contemplate new pricing models for India. Sarandos said that Netflix is also focusing on bringing in more original content. The company on Thursday announced plans to launch 17 more original productions in Asia including Thai and Chinese language shows. ALSO?READ:?At half a million subscribers, Netflix still a ‘premium’ service in India

Hotstar led the Indian OTT video content market in 2017 (Counterpoint)

Netflix’s Chief Product Officer Gregory Peters last month had said that company was planning to test new subscription models for India and other new markets. “We’ll experiment with other pricing models not only for India, but around the world that allow us to sort of broaden access by providing a pricing tier that sits below our current lowest tier,” he had said.

Interestingly enough, Netflix is giving more priority to India than China where it has entered into a licensing deal with iQiyi, a video streaming subsidiary of Baidu. Netflix, however, has no immediate plans for launching operations independently in China.

“China’s tough for a Western media company to operate in and we’ve not been very active in the market at all — with the exception of licensing some of our shows into the market. And that’s going to be our strategy for a little while,” Sarandos said.

According to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers report, revenue from OTT platforms YouTube, Netflix and others had crossed Rs 20 billion in 2017. In the next couple of years, the revenues are expected to more than double with India being one of the top 10 markets for OTT services.


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Shaktikanta Das assumes charge as RBI Governor

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New Delhi : Former Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das Wednesday assumed charge as the RBI Governor.

He replaces Urjit Patel who abruptly resigned amid a face-off with the government over issues related to governance and autonomy of the central bank.

“Assumed charge as Governor, Reserve Bank of India. Thank you each and everyone for your good wishes,” Das said in a tweet.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley termed Das as a person with “right credentials” for the RBI top job.

“Das has been a very senior and an experienced civil servant. He has almost his entire career in the management of finances and economic management of the country both, when he was in the state government of Tamil Nadu and also when he was in the Government of India in the Ministry of Finance,” Jaitley said.

Das, who becomes 25th governor of the RBI, is a former IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre.

Jaitley said his appointment was necessitated by the resignation of Urjit Patel as Governor of the RBI on Monday.

“I think, he (Das) has the right credentials. He has been extremely professional, has worked under various governments and has excelled himself. I am sure, in meeting the challenges before India’s economy as Governor of Reserve Bank, he will certainly act,” the finance minister said.

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ADB retains Indian growth forecast at 7.3% for FY19

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New Delhi: Asian Development Bank said it has retained its India growth forecast at 7.3 percent for current fiscal and 7.6 percent in the following financial year.

India is maintaining growth momentum on rebounding exports and higher industrial and agricultural output, ADB said in its Asian Development Bank Outlook Supplement.

“India saw GDP growth moderate to 7.1 percent in Q2 of FY2018 (ending 31 March 2019) from 8.2 percent in Q1, for 7.6 percent growth in the first half,” ADB said.

The slowdown came mainly from weak food prices, dampening rural consumption, higher oil prices delivering a negative shock in the terms of trade, and rising costs for raw materials.

“Nonetheless, growth forecasts of 7.3 percent for 2018-19 and 7.6 percent for 2019-20 are retained from the update despite some downside risks,” ADB said in the supplement.

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Onida starts manufacturing televisions for Reliance Retail

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Mumbai: Onida (Mirc Electronics Ltd.), the leading consumer durables company in India has started to manufacture televisions for Reliance Retail. With the demand for third-party TV manufacturing driven by the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative and with the available manufacturing capacity at the factories, the company is bullish on its growth trajectory.

The company has taken strategic decision to start non-captive manufacturing during the current year and had started manufacturing televisions for Reliance Retail from July 2018.

Onida has recently started its LED panel manufacturing plant and the company is currently manufacturing 80 per cent of television LED panels required for the captive purpose to reduce cost and have an edge over other brands.

Upbeat on the developments taking place in the company, Mr. Vijay Mansukhani, MD, said, “We are delighted to work with Reliance Retail. We need not incur any further capex as the current manufacturing facilities can take care of sizable non-captive business. Neither have we needed working capital.”

“Considering the low penetration levels across all consumer durables, there is enough market for existing and new players. The demographics of India supports a good amount of demand and many international players would like to tap the Indian market. Many players are approaching us because of our strengths in R&D, quality, distribution, and strong logistics and after-sales services”

He further added that “Unlike other players, we can support new players across the value chain”.

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