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Should Online Streaming get under the 18% slab too?

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Films and a Meal with Family was never this Affordable!  Flurry of tweets had driven Twitter with bundle of thanking notes filled with gratitude towards the Modi Government. It was a moment to cherish for the Bollywood fraternity as the GST cut for tickets have boosted Film Industry. Movie buffs take a sigh of relief with the reduction of GST rates to 18%, but online streaming Apps are still in the 18% slab, there is no mention of Digitalized Video Streaming Apps that also has absorbed GST uptill 18 %. Online Streaming crowd is filled with millennials who might not be able to afford the high subscription charges for Amazon Prime Videos, Hotstar and Netflix. If the GST rates lower down till 12 to 18% merged slab, there is a chance that online streaming Apps get cheaper for subscriptions.

Actor Aamir Khan thanked PM Modi and the government for “considering the request of the film industry for reduction in GST.” He said the support of the government would be needed if “Indian cinema hopes to compete in the world market.” Does Indian Cinema solely need a boost? Government has tried to develop many digital forums and hence raised the bar for the entertainment consumption channels. The online video streaming Video apps have gathered fame massively in this year 2018 and many superstars have come down to these platforms to emerge as a transformed face amongst the streaming crowd. GST slabs for such subscriptions if reduced, can make way for a more convenient and pocket friendly streaming.

Jonathan Friedland told on a public platform that Netflix would first concentrate on wealthier consumers who are attracted to western and global entertainment. Netflix recognizes that India is a “complicated” market, he said, “so the company will target consumers who are likely to be English-speaking, enjoy western entertainment and own an international credit card or have an iTunes account. As Netflix does not depend on advertising, content and building a solid subscription base will be key to its success.”

According to an article in WARC, it was found that Netflix is pitching its monthly subscription at a price Indian consumers are prepared to pay will be crucial and Friedland confirmed Netflix’s offer of about $8 (Rs.500) a month is aimed at the wealthier consumer. This was its state of art in January 2016. Today, the scenario has drastically changed, there is a lot of content on Netflix that Indian crowd is fond of and hence can connect to.

Today charges for a standard plan of Netflix costs 650 rupees where in 100 rupees are of taxes. We have witnessed the tenure of Modi government that has took efforts towards promoting the digital world, Entertainment has been a staple fare of this digital era and hence if government shall drive its attention towards the digital Video streamers for GST rate cuts as well, that will be a boon to the entertainment industry and a lot of subscribers can attain this entertainment. Though, this is not the need of hour or a prime requisite but there should be a thought given here as well, GST rate cuts needs attention here as well!


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