Paid movie streaming? YouTube more likely to beat Netflix in India

YouTube India has concrete paid movie streaming plans while journalists infer linguist job openings from Netflix as impending country launch.

It's always an exciting morning to wake up to news of a popular US technology service looking to launch in India. Today, it was Netflix's turn. Noticed by Jon Russel at The Next Web, Netflix is looking for linguists in several regional languages such as Hindi, Dutch, German, Italian etc. This was quickly concluded as possible Netflix launch in the respective countries. However, I believe that's a false assumption. Netflix has a decent catalogue of Hindi movies and, I believe, movies in Korean, German, Italian, Dutch etc. netflix also offers subtitles for their catalogue and these linguists are most likely being hired to Netflix with translating the languages than launching Netflix in India.

Given our Internet infrastructure and rampant piracy, Netflix in India doesn't really make a lot of economic sense for Netflix. But the company is expanding rapidly and at some point, India will be a potential market. And YouTube might motivate Netflix to launch in India. Anuj Srivas, writing for The Hindu, has Google's director for content partnerships in the APAC region talking about their plans for a paid streaming service in India. 

According to Gautam Anand, YouTube is working on a payment system that will enable Google to offer the existing YouTube content and convince more partners to serve content online. 

The major roadblock, which we are working on, is the payment mechanism – enabling carrier billing for example. We want to be able to ensure a seamless experience. Once this is done it will happen.

Downloading videos is still the prefered way of consuming content, rather than streaming, due to the speeds but this is expected to change. Shows like Satyamev Jayate introduced the concept of immediate online availability and we can expect more. Akamai's recent report on Indian broadband had some positives:

  • Average Internet speed above 1Mbps
  • Consistent growth in Internet adoption (1.4% Internet connections are 4Mbps+, and this is a 101% growth YoY)