Netflix in Nepal: Can Netflix Benefit from Nepali Subtitles?
Netflix officially launched in Nepal in early 2016. However, during that time, they didn’t get enough subscribers for any kind of benefit and had to discontinue their services.
The streaming site has relaunched in Nepal and this time around, they have done better than before and have shown a potential for growth.
As of now, Netflix has quite following in the country; even if we don’t have any official data, we could say that the number of subscribers is around a few thousand.
The Problem with Netflix in Nepal
You see, what Netflix does is stream videos. You can watch movies and official TV series by paying a fixed amount every month. The first month is free, and from there, you need to renew your subscription for the entertainment.
The thing with Netflix is that it consists of international TV programs. Most of them are in English, and nowadays, with the service growing in India, there are Hindi shows as well. Series such as Bombay Begum, Sacred Games, Messi among others which have been critically acclaimed, and have many fans in Nepal as well, had been specifically produced for the video streaming site.
Well, we don’t have to say anything about the quality of these shows. They are great.
The biggest drawback, however, is about the payment and after that, the language.
Nepal doesn’t have PayPal. Using other international payment gateways like Mastercard and Payoneer is not exactly out of the question, but they have complicated processes to open accounts. Anyway, there still are third party vendors from whom you can easily buy a subscription, so let us set that aside for a while.
Now, back to another huge issue. The language. Many people in Nepal can understand English, but that’s very basic. To say at the least, many can’t comprehend the language to a point they can understand every word in a TV show. According to this survey (https://neltaeltforum.wordpress.com/2017/08/05/english-in-nepal-from-a-guest-language-to-the-best-language/), there are only 2,032 English speakers in Nepal. The total population is 29.3 million.
So, What Can We Do?
Right now, the best way Netflix can grow its following in Nepal is by adding Nepali subtitles to the shows it wants to sell in the country. Of course, Nepali producers creating shows for the site can also be a practical answer, but that won’t happen until the service is popular enough.
Nepali movies already use YouTube and iflix, the Asian version of Netflix. It supports Nepali payment gateways like eSewa and already has a plethora of local films.
Nepalese people never say ‘No’ to good entertainment. Popular local TV shows like ‘Bhadragol’ (the team now makes ‘Sakkigoni’) amass millions of views every week on YouTube. They have a huge following and excellent content as well. In other words, Netflix needs to compete against programs of very high caliber if they want to make a name for themselves.
Nepali Subtitles for Netflix Benefits
First off, it gives an idea of ‘Netflix Cares.’ They care for their Nepali customers and that emotion itself is going to help an international company in a country where people are wary of their identity.
For the best part, Nepalese will understand shows that are not only in English but also in other languages they haven’t even heard of. This will, of course, increase the popularity, garner viewers, and then as the service grows, producers will also be willing to sell their videos to the platform.
This, in turn, will also help the local entertainment industry, as they will be made to create quality that can stand aside with some of the most successful programs in the world. This, again, will benefit Netflix Nepal as they will have even better content to show off.
The money is not an issue; only in 2018, Netflix reported earnings of US$1.21 billion https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netflix. Moreover, language services in Nepal are not as expensive as in other countries.
All Netflix needs to do now is contact a dependable Nepali translation company, and they will grow at a fabulous rate.