Netflix, the world’s biggest streaming video provider, is doubling down on its efforts to grow its market share in sub-Saharan Africa by launching a new, lower-cost, mobile-only plan.
The mobile plan, which is available with immediate effect, comes after the US entertainment giant tested two mobile options to see if subscribers would use them. It has now launched one of these at US$3.99 in most African countries where Netflix operates and it will operate alongside its basic, standard, and premium plans.
The mobile plan can be accessed on a tablet or a smartphone and allows only one stream in standard definition (520p resolution). Streaming on multiple devices is not permitted under this plan. Users can still have up to five different profiles on the mobile plan. However, they can only stream only on one device at a time.
Those who subscribe to the mobile plan will have the same access to the entire Netflix catalog available in Africa, with no advertising. The mobile plan offers an adaptive bitrate, meaning it automatically makes streaming efficient, using less mobile data – up to six-and-a-half hours on 1GB, it claims. Downloads are also supported for offline viewing.
The Netflix app has been optimized so it can be used on entry-level Android phones, too, including those with just 1GB (or less) of RAM.
How much is the Netflix mobile-only plan?
The pricing is as follows:
|Other African countries||$3.99|
Play partial download
Along with its new mobile price plan, Netflix has introduced a feature it calls “play partial download”. Subscribers who are downloading a title for offline viewing on an Android phone or tablet will now be able to start watching that episode or movie before the download finishes.
Those with supported Android devices can access the play partial downloads setting from the download menu, or from the “continue watching” menu. If you start watching a video that has yet to finish downloading, you will be prompted to download the rest of that movie or episode in a series once you are connected to Wi-Fi or a cellular network.
The feature will be tested on iOS in the coming months.