Only about 10% of the 1.3 billion people in India speak English. However, many companies operating in the country only offer their services in English. Netflix, Such a company announced on Friday that it would break the language barrier.
The American on-demand video streaming giant today introduced support for Hindi on its platform, a language spoken by almost half a billion people in India. The Hindi language is now integrated across the platform, from the login page to search lines to collections, synopsis and payments. Subscribers can select Hindi in the "Manage Profiles" section of the welcome screen.
“Delivering a great Netflix experience is as important to us as creating great content. We believe the new user interface will make Netflix even more accessible and better suited to members who prefer Hindi, ”said Monika Shergill, VP Content at Netflix India, in a statement.
The global competitors of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney + Hotstar also support Hindi, although the latter has used Hindi in limited capacity (e.g., not for a movie or a synopsis of a show).
The focus on Hindi shows how much traction Netflix has received in India. Most international companies tend to localize their services in India after fully opening up the population in urban cities across the country where English is a common language.
Facebook and Google – two companies each with over 350 million users in India – have long supported Hindi and several other local Indian languages in their services. Amazon added Hindi support in its app in 2018 and introduced language support in Alexa last year. In June, the company said sellers could now log in to its platform and manage their Hindi accounts.
Flipkart introduced Hindi support on its platform last year and added three more national languages in June this year.
Hindi support is Netflix's recent effort to compete with over three dozen on-demand video streaming services in India to attract subscribers in the country. For the past year, the company has also been looking for ways to make its platform affordable to more users in India, where an average person earns around $ 2,000 a year.
Last year, a mobile-only tariff was introduced in India that costs less than $ 3 a month and is currently testing at least one more affordable subscription level in the country. At an event in India in early 2018, Reed Hastings, co-founder and co-director of Netflix – perhaps jokingly (can't say) – said that India will eventually bring 100 million subscribers to its platform.
The company's steps since then indicate that Netflix believes in it. Last year, Netflix announced that it had earmarked $ 420 million for the production and licensing of content in India by the end of 2020. Last month, the streaming service announced 17 original shows and films to be released in the coming months.
Like more than two dozen languages - including Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese – Hindi support will be available to subscribers worldwide.