Netflix's Marketing Strategy , the StreamFest and the art of selling content
Updated: Jan 10
Netflix arrived in India in 2016 , at that time it catered to the "elite" English speaking audience of the country , the subscription was rather expensive compared to the other Indian OTT platforms and at that time , Netflix barely had Indian content. This year (2020) , Netflix has shown 2X growth since 2019 in its operating revenue, this can be due to the shift in their marketing strategies or due to the coronavirus lockdown which played a huge role in the rise of various OTT platforms as the "content consumption" has increased in the Indian audience.
Let us break down Netflix's business strategy piece by piece -
Netflix announced its Streamfest on December 5th and 6th - The Netflix StreamFest in India would allow everyone to enjoy the full Netflix experience for free on the 5th and 6th of December , the non-subscribers would be allowed to stream all shows and movies on the platform for free , without even submitting their credit/debit card details.
The StreamFest CAN be a major move in introducing more people to the platform, considering Netflix's market share in India stands at just 5 percent , on the other hand Disney+Hotstar has a market share of 30 percent and Amazon Prime has a market share of about 10 percent.
“We think that giving everyone in a country access to Netflix for free for a weekend could be a great way to expose a bunch of new people to the amazing stories that we have, the service and how it works … and hopefully get a bunch of those folks to sign up,” said Greg Peters , COO and Chief product officer at Netflix.
Content Strategy - When Netflix came to India, it hardly had any "Indian content" , Netflix claimed that it will spend about $400 million on generating Indian content in 2019 and 2020. A number of Indian movies and shows have been released on the platforms , some of which are Netflix original movies and shows. Naming a few Indian Netflix originals - Ludo , Mismatched , Bulbbul , Sacred Games , Little Things etc.
It explored a variety of genres which further attracted viewership. The platform also contains Korean shows , Pakistani movies and Spanish shows.
The Social Media Strategy- If you are following Netflix on any social media platform , you would have noticed an improvement in its social media pages , the social media content they have started creating is engaging and interestingly , they directly reply to the comments on almost all of the social media platforms. The moment a new show is released on Netflix , influencers , entertainment websites like scoopwhoop start posting about it, even though some of this content can be unpaid / not sponsored , it is hard to believe that no part of this content is paid.
Netflix India's Instagram handle stands at 3.7 million followers while competitor Disney + Hotstars's Instagram handle stands at 362k followers , the difference in the quality of content is noticeable.
Cringe Binging - Raise your hands if you have heard about Netflix's Indian Matchmaking , the show got a lot of attention , thanks to the memes and Sima Aunty :P , Netflix called Tanmay Bhat to their YouTube channel to roast the show themselves. clap clap!
This made the show even more popular and hence Netflix was able to sell a low-quality reality show to the Indian audience or atleast create a lot of buzz around the show and eventually their platform.
Again , some of these memes about the show might be organic , however it is hard to believe that all of them were! The video where Tanmay Bhat roasted Indian Matchmaking got about 1.8 million views.
Netflix repeated the same thing with its new show "Fabulous lives of Bollywood wives" which is again a below average reality show. Cringe binging will soon be the new trend if this continues, considering that half of the country was watching "Ekta Kapoor" content before Prime and Netflix launched here.
Influencer strategy - Netflix figured out a list of Indian YouTube influencers starting from Tanmay Bhat , Prajakta Kohli , Dhruv Rathi to Kusha Kapila and Abhish and the streaming platform started curating their YouTube content with these "medium" influencers who already had a loyal fanbase. This strategy really seems to work as the Netflix India YT channel stands at 9.81 million subscribers with an amazing audience engagement. Netflix smartly picked up "medium" sized influencers , as these people have a loyal fanbase.
We created a StreamFest watchlist for you all check it out- Here.
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