Netflix's mobile-only streaming plan kicks off in India, as the world watches

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Netflix has now launched its cheapest streaming plan yet – limited to its mobile and tablet apps – in a bid to attract a wider array of casual users for titles like Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, and the upcoming The Witcher TV series.

Only a few days ago, Netflix confirmed a mobile-only pricing plan would be coming in Q3 of this year, and the streaming service has wasted no time in implementing it. Netflix users in India can now opt for a subscription costing just Rs 199 (around $2.90 / £2.30 / AU$4.10) per month.

That's under half the cost of the previously cheapest option, the Basic Plan, so could offer quite the saving to those wanting to cut their streaming costs down.

For that fee, subscribers will get access to the same catalogue of titles as anyone else in India, but only on mobile and tablet devices. Otherwise the Mobile Plan is very much like the existing Basic Plan, which doesn't allow HD or 4K quality, or the ability to stream on multiple devices at once – as you can on more premium plans.

Netflix is already a haven of casual watching – Netflix and chill, anyone? Netflix's own press release also cites a FICCI-EY report that claims Indians spend 30% of their phone time on entertainment, and 70% of their data – so it's clear that a market is being served.

Ajay Arora, Netflix's director of Product innovation, added that: "Our members in India watch more on their mobiles than members anywhere else in the world."

I want this! When can I have it?

If you're in India, you can access the new pricing plan now. It will come up as an option if you're setting up a subscription for the first time, or you can head to your Account page in the Netflix website or app – under Plan Details you'll see a Change Plan button that will let you switch from your current subscription model.

We wouldn't be surprised to see this pricing plan gain traction worldwide – but there's no official word on this yet.

Netflix is a media company that's managed to evolve its offering very successfully over the years – from its humble beginnings as a DVD rental site, to a massive streaming platform and producer of its own original content. 

With less-than-impressive viewer growth in recent months, more flexibility in what users do and don't pay to watch, and what devices they use to do it, could very well be the start of something bigger.

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.