Hold up, wait a minute…wasn’t it just yesterday that Netflix announced that it had become available in practically every country in the world? So how come Etisalat already has a dedicated Netflix and Chill data bundle?
— Etisalat Nigeria (@etisalat_9ja) January 7, 2016
Well, the truth is Etisalat Nigeria didn’t create this plan yesterday. It’s actually an app-specific data bundle called Smartpaks that enabled users to access designated apps on a timed basis. The video bundle lets you buy two hours of “unlimited internet access” to watch video for N400. Compared to the Netflix and Chill marketing graphic, this is what the original marketing material looked like.
All Etisalat has done is change their graphic design, and perhaps tweak their backend content filtering protocols to support content originating from Netflix servers. It’s just a brilliant ad.
Nonetheless, I have to say it’s a genius way to cash in on all the Netflix buzz that has held the world, not to mention Nigerians, in thrall over the past 24 hours. For cost-conscious Nigerians who are concerned about the real cost of consuming Netflix (it’s not just the subscription fee, it’s the data consumption costs as well) in the absence of cheap and unlimited data, this could prove to be a useful hack.
In all, it seems that Netflix’s entry into the Nigerian market is already putting pressure on local ISPs to innovate…okay maybe that’s too optimistic…but at the very least, to revisit their pricing and delivery models in ways that benefit the customer. I daresay we’ll see other telcos across the continent rolling out data plans in response before too long.
One thing that I wonder if Etisalat’s time-based “Netflix and chill” plan accounts for is time spent on buffering, hmm. But maybe buffer and chill isn’t such thing, no?