In the wake of Filmstruck’s death, some film streaming purists may have another reason to rage, while those happy to get movies on whatever device they have could rejoice. That’s because Netflix is apparently testing a mobile-only pricing level for its service in Asia.
According to The Verge, this plan — which was reportedly first enacted in Malaysia — would drop the cost of a Netflix subscription by more than half. It would prevent users from experiencing content in HD formats or on devices other than phones and tablets, but would allow users to change their subscription type at any time.
That the Asian market is serving as a testing grounds is not insignificant. China, a market recently motivating video game company Blizzard to create a mobile entry in its popular Diablo franchise, may not have Netflix — but it does represent a global trend of increasing use of mobile devices. The Verge notes that 35% of global Netflix sign-ups come from mobile devices, with that number continuing to grow. And 60% of users open the mobile app at least once a month.
Creating a cheaper pricing tier for mobile users in Netflix's ever-increasing international base could open up access to the media company’s library to plenty of people that simply couldn’t get past the financial or technological barriers before. Growing in countries with burgeoning mobile markets is one thing, but bringing the same pricing plan Stateside is another.
That said, with international success, perhaps commuting streamers could see their Netflix usage become much cheaper. However, no news on whether the test will hit the U.S. at this time.