Netflix Is Testing Cheaper, Mobile-Only Subscriptions in Some Markets
If you only watch Netflix on your phone, you might benefit from a cheaper, mobile-only subscription. That could someday be an option, if recent reports are anything to go by. A Netflix spokesperson told TheStreet that a mobile-only plan is being tested in some countries in order to gauge consumer interest.
“Generally, we try out lots of new ideas at any given time, and they can vary in how long they last and who sees them,” the spokesperson told TheStreet in an email. “We may not ever roll out the features or elements included in a test."
Netflix is keeping tight-lipped about the details, but Malaysia appears to be one of the countries where mobile subscriptions are being offered. Malaysian media outlet The Star reported that mobile subscriptions were being advertised for about $4 a month. For comparison, a standard subscription in Malaysia costs about $10, or $1 less than a standard subscription in the U.S. However, for the mobile-only deal, streaming is only available in standard definition (SD), not high definition (HD).
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said the offer of lower-priced subscriptions is part of the company’s push to attract new subscribers. Don’t get your hopes up for a cheaper option just yet, though. Wall Street investment banking firm Piper Jaffray predicts Netflix will actually raise prices in many of its markets next year, and that's likely to include the U.S. According to a study the firm conducted, a majority of Netflix subscribers in the U.S. would be willing to pay at least 40 percent more for the service.
The streaming platform now has more than 137 million subscribers around the world, and much of its original content has been well-received. However, it comes at a cost, with some analysts speculating that Netflix could end up spending $13 billion on content by the end of 2018.