Netflix revealed its plan on Friday to break through the language barrier in India. Statistically, only approximately 10% of India's population speaks or understands English and most of the firms operating in the country provide their services in English.
Netflix has released support for Hindi language that is spoken by nearly half a billion people in India. The video streaming company will have all its functions from the sign-up page to payment across its platform, written in Hindi language. The language can be chosen from the 'Manage Profiles' section on the welcome screen.
Monika Shergill, VP-Content at Netflix India, said in a statement that the company deems delivering a great experience of high importance and believes that the new interface will make the platform more accessible for members who prefer the Hindi language.
Some of the global competitors of Netflix like Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ Hotstar already provide their services in Hindi in India. Disney+ Hotstar, however, has limited capacity for that matter.
This move by Netflix is indicative of the level of traction that it believes it has received in India. Most international companies tend to provide services in India in the local language after they have completely tapped the population in urban cities where the English language is commonly used.
Facebook and Google, that have over 350 million users in India, have also supported Hindi, along with other local languages spoken in the country, across their platforms. Amazon added support for Hindi language on its app in 2018 and in Alexa last year. Similarly, Flipkart launched Hindi language support on its platform last year as well, along with adding support for three more local languages in June this year.
In addition to adding support for Hindi on its platform, Netflix has also considered ways in the past one year to make the platform more affordable to more local users as the average person in India earns about $2000 per year. The company also launched a mobile-only plan in India last year that costs less than $3 per month and is currently testing another affordable subscription tier in the country. Netflix stated last year that it had earmarked $420 million for producing and licensing content in India by the end of 2020.
Netflix currently offers support for over two dozen different languages across its platform and will now be adding Hindi in its list of supported languages available to subscribers.