Netflix releases cheaper mobile-only plan in Sub Saharan Africa


Popular streaming service Netflix is looking to bolster its position in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA), with the release of a new, cheaper, and mobile-only subscription since smartphones are heavily used on the continent.  

The new subscription will cost $3.99, which is almost 50 percent to 60 percent cheaper than their basic plan. According to the company, the plan is currently available for users in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, and other SSA countries.  

In parallel, the streaming giant announced the rollout of a new feature called Play Partial Download for SSA region as well, which allows users to watch movies and shows when the content is partially downloaded.  

“We always want to make it easier for members to access their favorite series or movies regardless of language, device, connectivity, or location. So partial downloading is now available on Android phones and tablets, and we’ll begin testing on iOS in the coming months. That’s the download on Netflix’s latest improvement – for now,” Netflix’s VP of Product Innovation Keela Robison said in a company statement.  

Robison further emphasized that once you’ve regained a strong enough connection, you can choose to finish the download and keep watching — avoiding those surprise notices that you’ve gone over your data limits. 

It is interesting to note that the company decided to rollout this feature in SSA, mainly due to the region’s heavy smartphone penetration as well as its heavy reliance on downloading. Netflix highlighted that this would help users save time and cost, since watchers have leaned more toward offline watching to evade ballooning data prices. 

Many pundits have argued that the rollout of such a plan is Netflix’ way of intensifying their battle for market share in the region as they compete with other budget streaming services such as IrokoTV and Showmax.