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Why Are Netflix and Amazon Struggling to Expand in India?

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Jul. 6 2018, Updated 3:35 p.m. ET

India’s streaming market

India’s streaming market has picked up the pace as a large number of Indians are increasingly shifting to online streaming services. Streaming giants Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon (AMZN) are also trying to grab a piece of the pie, but the market is already saturated with local streaming services such as Hotstar, Viacom’s (VIAB) Voot, SonyLIV, and many other regional offerings. More than 35 streaming services are already doing great business in India (INDA) over the past three years, and many are also planning to enter the Indian movies market.

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Streaming services in India

Both Netflix and Amazon entered the vast Indian market in 2016. However, since then, they have been lagging behind the local service providers. Hotstar tops the Indian market with 75 million subscribers in 2017, while Voot is the second-most-popular streaming service provider with 15 million users.

According to research from global industry analysis firm Counterpoint, Amazon Prime has reached the third most used streaming service in India with 11 million users in 2017. Netflix lags behind with 5 million subscribers.

Hotstar is owned by Star India, which is controlled by Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA). Hotstar offers free and premium subscriptions for shows, movies, and sports to 150 million active monthly users.

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