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Reliance brings telecom's predatory pricing to OTT; will JioCinema's latest plans harm Netflix, Amazon?

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Sohini Mitter

33 reads
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Sohini Mitter

33 reads

JioCinema's revised ad-free plans could further derail OTT monetisation in the Indian market, where global streaming giants like Netflix and Prime Video are already finding it difficult to make money. Indian streaming services, too, will have to rely more on ad revenues than subscriber ARPUs.

April 25, 2024

4 MINS READ

Earlier today, streaming platform JioCinema slashed the prices of its premium plans by over two-thirds in a move that could further derail OTT monetisation in India. After teasing its upcoming, ad-free plans for nearly a week during the ongoing IPL, the Reliance-owned platform has announced a two-tier monthly offering—Rs 29 for a single device and Rs 89 for family plans—for JioCinema Premium. 

This essentially means that users now have access to premium Hollywood content, including shows and movies from HBO, Peacock, and NBCUniversal, at less than one rupee a day. (Prior to this, JioCinema Premium was available with ads for Rs 99 a month and Rs 999 a year.) Cricket, including the Indian Premier League (IPL), and other Viacom18 shows will continue to remain free (albeit with ads) on the platform, JioCinema stated.

Now, disruptive pricing is not new when it comes to Reliance Industries. It has been a tried-and-tested template for the corporate giant, especially in telecom—a sector it disrupted, consolidated, and now dominates. Prior to the launch of Jio in 2017, India had 8-9 public and private telecom operators, which has come down to just three now, with Jio leading the market with 482 million subscribers. 

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