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Netflix at 49 bucks a month? Now that’s lekker!


Johannesburg, South Africa (03 July 2021) – On Tuesday, Netflix introduced a new Mobile Plan to members across the sub-Saharan Africa region, making the streaming service even cheaper for South Africans.

Last year, Netflix tested two Mobile Plan options to see if their members would like them, and following the test, they will now launch one of the Mobile Plans at R49 ($3.99), which will sit alongside their other three Netflix plans; Basic, Standard & Premium!

“After several months of testing, we’re excited to launch a new mobile plan in South Africa at R49 per month. This plan will make it even easier for anyone with a smartphone to enjoy Netflix. At home or on the go, now more people can watch all the shows and movies Netflix has to offer, wherever and whenever they want.” – Netflix spokesperson.

Top things to know about the mobile plan:

  • The mobile plan can be accessed on a tablet or a smartphone. And allows one stream in SD (520p). This means, at one time, only one device can play it.
  • Members who subscribe to the mobile plan will have the same access to the entire Netflix catalogue available in Africa.
  • You can still have up to 5 different Profiles on the mobile plan. However, you can only stream only on one device at a time.
  • There are no ads, and you get all episodes at once, just like you get with all of our existing plans.
  • Mobile plan users will have access to the same catalogue and all mobile features—Smart Downloads, adaptive UI, 5 profiles, profile PINs, maturity settings—like they do on existing plans.

Other Netflix innovations to make the best mobile streaming experience!

Netflix has constantly been working to make the experience great for our members on mobile devices, with key innovations:

  • Adaptive Bitrate: which intelligently makes streaming efficient, using less mobile data for more hours of Netflix: up to ~6.5hrs on 1GB.
  • Smart Downloads: Downloads on phone and tablet were already useful. But when you enable Smart Downloads, it downloads the next episode over Wi-Fi and deletes the one you’ve seen. So you’re always ready to watch.
  • Adaptive Android UI: Which optimises the Netflix app intelligently for entry-level Android phones [with sub-1GB RAM].
  • Sharing Instagram Stories: The joy of entertainment is in sharing with your friends. So you can let your social media feed know what you enjoyed on Netflix.

We want to give consumers choice and control:

Different people have different entertainment preferences. Some want Ultra HD and the ability to stream on four screens at once. Some only watch movies and shows on their phone. Adding a mobile plan gives consumers more choice no matter what their budget or requirements.

The four price tiers in South Africa now are:

  • Mobile: R49/month
  • Basic: R99/month
  • Standard: R139/month
  • Premium: R169/month

“Play Partial” Download Feature:

On 29th June 2021, Netflix will also launch a feature allowing members with Android phones and tablets to start playback of a title or episode before it has completed downloading. Netflix previously tested this feature back in July of 2020, where they found that 35% of new members and 24% of existing members played a partial download at least once.

“While there were no changes in downloading behaviour or overall streaming, we’re focused on what we can do today to make it even easier to watch that nearly downloaded episode of your favourite show or a movie for those members who have unreliable wifi. By enabling this feature, we’re hoping to help our members save time as customers have pivoted to using offline viewing.”

From the start, the streaming platform has focused on ensuring Netflix mobile experience is quick and easy to use. This feature is the latest example – the ability to play a title before an entire episode has completed downloading.

“We seek to connect our members to their next favourite story. We believe incredible stories should be enjoyed by our members, regardless of language, device, connectivity, or ability. Making it even easier and quicker for our members to enjoy their favourite show or movie.

Members can access the setting from the ‘download’ menu on their mobile device or from their continue watching menu. If a member starts watching a title that has yet to finish downloading, they will be prompted to download the rest of that movie or episode in a series once they’re connected to wifi or cellular network.”

This feature is available on Android phones and tablets only. They will be testing on iOS in the coming months.

The ability to download on the go is a feature already available for members on iOS and Android devices. Including the “smart downloading” feature, which deletes the last watched episode before downloading the next one so your data plan will never be used, and it won’t impact your device storage.

“… the way we think about it is actually that we have to make almost every aspect of that experience better. And it’s not going to be one thing that’s going to be sort of like suddenly make a perfect choosing experience. So we have teams that think about exactly how do we pick what titles are perfect for each member, how do we pick those recommendations to make those better every single day, how do we present those titles in a more compelling way, a way that’s specific to what we think the member’s interest is. We’re thinking about how our user experiences work and the features that are included in there. And we want those to adapt and evolve so that they can be responsive to the specific needs of a growing number of members around the world that have growing and diverse needs from our experiences.” – Greg Peters (Chief Product Officer and Chief Operating Officer at Netflix), July 2020

Sources: National Institute for Communicable Diseases | COVID-19
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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