Shreyas Kulkarni

Netflix India’s quest to become a supermarket, continues

A supermarket is one of the few places on the planet that offers something to every member of a family. The kids, and more often the adults, can get their hands on the unhealthiest and also the darkest of chocolates.

The adults, after grabbing the chocolates, wear a mask of maturity and buy all the good-for-heart-and-body products such as creams, oils, grains, cereals, organic pastes, hummus… The grandparents too have their choice of traditional and Ayurvedic brands.

Streaming giant Netflix India, since the last few months of 2021, is doing its best to turn into a supermarket. Better put, a content streaming supermarket. It has released one ad after another, highlighting, in quirky and sometimes hilarious fashion, its diverse content library where there is some show or movie for every age and taste.

To talk of diverse content is easy. Netflix is two steps ahead. One, it constantly highlights its price drop, which is considered the steepest in India. Second, it parades the fact that its best shows are dubbed in multiple languages. ‘Money Heist’ is now available in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and, of course, Spanish. The ad above is what you’ve read right now.

An unnoticed, yet in-your-face result of these moves is the exposure of Indians to foreign-language shows. ‘Money Heist’ is in Spanish, ‘Fauda’ is from Israel, and ‘Squid Game’ is Korean. All three shows have an audience in India a la granny and the firefighter in the ad.

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The impetus for this unity in diversity ideology of Netflix started with its price drop in December 2021. It was considered a move to counter similar efforts from rivals like Disney+ Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video India.

“There’s a Netflix for all,” says the video streamer’s YouTube ad description. One has to see how much of this effort will bear fruit in 2022’s first quarter (Q1) results. Netflix added 8.30 million paid subscribers, missing its estimates of 8.50 million, in the Q4 results of 2021.

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