Why it matters: Netflix is experimenting with mobile-only plans that come at roughly half the cost of a standard plan. They're limited to SD quality and just one device but for many, that may be plenty suitable. The only question is whether or not the company plans to bring the new tier to all areas or limit it to emerging markets
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in an interview with Bloomberg last week said his company was planning on testing a more affordable version of its streaming subscription service. He didn’t specify when or where the testing would take place; as it turns out, we wouldn’t have to wait very long for those details.
According to a report from Malaysian news outlet The Star, Netflix has quietly rolled out a mobile-only tier in the country that commands just RM17, or $4 per month (that’s roughly half the price of the previously cheapest plan). The entry-level plan affords unlimited access to movies and TV shows for one device but is limited to standard definition quality.
A spokesperson for Netflix confirmed the Malaysian trial with TechCrunch, noting that similar tests are also being conducted in a few other countries.
If Netflix is interested in further expanding its international user base, more affordable pricing is certainly one way to go about it. The company’s current pricing structure puts it out of reach of some potential subscribers.
Netflix is also catering to local markets with original content offerings. Just last week, the streaming giant announced eight new original films and a new series for viewers in India.
Lead image via Chris Ratcliffe, Bloomberg