Throwback time! This is one of the stories I’m proudest of. Earlier this year, after Netflix started paying service tax (another story I did last year), I filed an RTI to the large taxpayer unit in Bangalore to find out how much tax they were paying. In every sense, this was confidential information that should not have been shared with me — I wouldn’t be surprised if there was an angry phone call that went down after this, because the taxpayer unit declined RTIs I sent requesting the same information for the subsequent months.
Exclusive: Netflix has 2–3 lakh paying subscribers in India, an investigation of the company’s India tax records by MediaNama has revealed (see methodology below). Of the company’s 93.8 million subscribers, between 211,500-337,300 are from India. This is a small share of Netflix’s international market, but it’s significant, considering India’s nascent broadband infrastructure; the video-on-demand market has also been mushrooming only in the last couple years. The company gained over 14 million new subscribers from outside the US since last year, when it expanded to all countries except China. India, which is the most populous Netflix market, has contributed to around 2% of that growth.