Netflix is looking into introducing a cut-price new tier to its streaming service – roughly £2.99 a month – for those who only want to stream on their mobile device. If you’re looking to catch-up with some of the most talked-about shows on your morning commute, but aren’t interested in continuing to watch on the big screen when you get home – this could be ideal.
The smartphone and tablet-only subscription tier was trialled in India, Malaysia and Indonesia late last year. However, Netflix has now hinted it could make the option available more widely – perfect for those who want to spook themselves with The Haunting Of Hill House, breakdown into sobs with A Marriage Story or make the daily commute more bearable with a dose of Stranger Things on their way to work in the morning. Netflix allows offline downloads as part of this plan, so you’re not limited to journeys above-ground.
In a letter to shareholders, Netflix stated: “In Q4, we launched a mobile-only plan in Malaysia and Indonesia (which we introduced to India in Q3 last year). We’ve seen similar results with this plan driving incremental subscriber growth and improving retention.
“We expect the mobile-only plan to be revenue-positive which will allow us to further invest in content to be enjoyed by our members and continue to feed the virtuous cycle. We plan to continue to test adding this plan, as well as additional ideas in other countries around the world.”
In India, Malaysia and Indonesia, the mobile-only subscription clocked in at roughly half the price of Netflix’s Basic subscription plan. Applying the same logic to its UK pricing, we’d expect the commuter plan to cost around £2.99 a month.
Sky TV viewers won’t be getting their hands on this Netflix competitor just yet
Back in 2018, Netflix revealed statistics on how its subscribers watch boxsets and movies. According to the data supplied by the streaming firm, which is the latest available, around 30 percent of all Netflix subscribers watch content on their smartphone or tablet. That leaves a hefty 70 percent still tuning in on their TV in the bedroom, living room, or kitchen. Those figures would likely need to change substantially before Netflix considers bringing a mobile-only subscription option to the UK.
And that’s exactly what a spokesperson for the company told us. In response to whether we could expect to see a cheaper alternative for those who only want to watch on their smartphone, Netflix said: “We have no plans to launch a mobile-only subscription in other countries at this time.”
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That said, it seems likely that we will see a few changes coming to Netflix in the coming months. After all, the once-unique video on-demand proposition is now facing a truckload of new competition from the likes of Disney+, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, BritBox – not to mention Sky TV and its steaming arm, NOW TV.
Disney+, which has more than 10 million subscribers in the United States, is scheduled to launch on March 31, 2020 in the UK. The video on-demand service leverages Disney’s hefty media empire to bring a slew of new original shows and films centred around its existing portfolio properties, including the likes of Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, and National Geographic.
As well as new TV seasons and movies you won’t find anywhere else, Disney+ will also be the exclusive home for a number of properties from the back catalogue, including The Avengers films, The Simpsons, and its classic animated and live-action remakes, like The Lion King.
To prepare for the launch, Disney is starting to remove Disney-owned films and boxsets from your set-top box – to ensure they’re exclusive to the new streaming service.