Was sent this about Netflix on Bloomberg today.
According to a statement issued last week, international subscribers grew at the slowest rate since 2014, when Netflix was available to far fewer people.
Not surprising – I wonder if Netflix tries to use Netflix from Singapore – the catalog is shit. I wouldn’t even bother using it in Singapore if it wasn’t for my ISP’s feature of routing my Netflix and HBO traffic to the states. It’s amazing the difference between the local catalog and the USA one – it’s still comical to me I can’t watch the latest season of the House of Cards on Netflix Singapore. Would be one thing if Netflix Singapore cost 4 bucks but it doesn’t.
Ultimately Netflix may prevail but I think they have underestimated a few things –
- Cost. They want to pull the SBUX global pricing game but that’s silly since the size of my cappuccino in Singapore is the same as the one in San Francisco. Netflix catalog differences are huge.
- Local competition – they act like none exist.
- Not being able to download. Not a huge issue but an issue.
- VPN blocking. A bunch of people used Netlfix for the USA catalog – now that has stopped which means they have lost subscribers who were paying USA prices to get access and who dumped them when they saw the local catalog.
Big kudos to iFlix for getting a big mention. What’s glaring is the complete miss on HOOQ but guessing that is either cause most folks are already writing it off or that HOOQ continues to be appallingly bad at PR.
Here you go HOOQ – got you some PR today.
IFLix and Netflix are spot on about piracy but Netflix seems to just be burying their head in the sand when it comes to dealing with the issue:
And that won’t be easy. In September, a senior Netflix manager acknowledged piracy as the company’s biggest competitor in Asia-Pacific, the fastest-growing internet market. But instead of lowering prices or seeking different models, Netflix is charging $7.99 per month to subscribe in Cambodia — a country where the average income is about $1,000 per year, and where only 2.3 percent of the population has a credit card. In fact, fewer than half of the 600 million people in Southeast Asia carry plastic. And even if they can pay for Netflix, the experience of watching it probably won’t be pleasant. Almost every country in the region has internet speeds below the global average — oftentimes way below.
They can’t price like this, have a shitty catalog and not offer downloads. It just won’t work.
I have always said – the real competitor in Asia is piracy. Note :: http://www.nokpis.com/2016/04/18/the-actual-state-of-ott-in-emerging-markets/
Netflix, HBO and Amazon will be global video players – also it is too early to tell if FB, Apple and Google will sit this party out since it is such a minefield of losses. We know Apple keeps trying to alter the cable game but that is a USA only thing and their buy on demand model will someday not work out well but for now one gets the best content on PPV. I still buy/rent far too many movies but maybe that is cause I have kids and I want new releases so I can skip the theatre.
My take is that this problem will never be globally solved and that in each GEO it may take on different patterns – just look at India with HotStar having HBO content :: http://www.hotstar.com/tv/game-of-thrones/8184. Word is that HotStar has essentially clubbed to death any of the other major players in India and I expect you will see some casualties soon. I honestly have never understood why HOOQ tried to be India – it is a race they will never win. Seems iFlix is sidestepping the India train wreck and focusing on other winnable territories.
I portend that Netflix is gonna keep bleeding and the investors might start to tire of it. Amazon has yet to show their global video hand but I suspect it will challenge Netflix in certain parts of the world. I wonder if HBO will do more HotStar like plays – I think they should. iFlix seems to be the local or strong emerging markets player to watch and it pains me to say it but I think HOOQ is toast but most folks probably labeled anything built by Singtel as toast anyway. I guess it just depends on what shade of burnt you acknowledge.
As a consumer of stuff – well, I still use my Mom’s Netlfix account, pay for HBO (VPN goodness from viewquest) and continue to wait for Apple to do something cool with the TV.