Netflix is constantly testing new features and ideas in an effort to compete with Hulu, Amazon, CBS All Access, and other streaming services. According to a report by PC Mag, the streaming giant is currently testing the waters with a mobile-only subscription service that allows members to stream content for just $4 per month.
Unfortunately, this latest test is nothing for U.S. subscribers to get too excited about as the subscription service is currently limited to Malaysia. Moreover, the subscription service has several restrictions in place.
For starters, this subscription service does allow those with a membership to stream on a tablet or a smartphone. The service, however, only works on these devices. It is not possible to use this $4 service on a television or a computer.
Moreover, the streaming giant plans to limit the video quality by only allowing standard definition streams. For customers who have been spoiled by the high definition video quality of their phone, the video quality limitations of this streaming service may not be something they can tolerate.
According to Netflix, they are testing this service because they want to “understand consumer interest in a mobile-only plan in some countries.”
“Generally, we try out lots of new ideas at any given time, and they can vary in how long they last and who sees them. We may not ever roll out the features or elements included in a test,” Netflix added in a statement given to Quartz as the streaming giant explained why some features never make it beyond the testing process.
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) November 14, 2018
While this service may or may not take off in other regions, it is unlikely for it to come to the U.S. (even in test form). This is largely because the United States already houses over 137 million Netflix subscribers. While Asia does house the second highest number of subscribers, Netflix competes with a lot of cheaper streaming services in Asia.
With the cost of Netflix ranging between $8 and $10 on average (depending on location), the streaming giant competes with free services such as YouTube and services such as India’s Hotstar and HOOQ with cheaper rates in other regions.
"The media streaming company aims to add 100 million subscribers in the South Asian country over the coming years."https://t.co/hJV5dnqwNd
— Ashwin Mullankandy (@ashwinm) November 8, 2018
This move is just another way the company is working to bring in new Netflix Asia subscribers. As those who follow Netflix news know, the streaming giant recently announced their plans to expand their Asian content. This announcement came with the slated release of eight new original movies, a new Netflix India series, and 17 original movies. This announcement also included the reveal of several anime series as well.
Netflix also recently tested the waters with commercials, referring to them as recommendations. While subscribers were initially against the idea of any type of commercials while watching Netflix, chatter regarding Netflix commercial has since died off.