Researcher ORCID Identifier


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Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Darren Filson

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2022 Ajitha K Anand


For streaming service providers who are reaching a plateau in subscriber growth in the western market, India presents a rich opportunity for subscriber acquisition. However, the three major streaming service providers, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+Hotstar, have faced challenges growing and sustaining a strong subscriber base in India. This thesis offers three contributions. First, I explain and categorize the approaches of these providers from 2016 to 2022. Second, using event study methodology and the Fama-French Five factor model, I estimate the effect of India-related SVOD press releases on firm returns. Third, I estimate the impact that each firm’s announcements have on its two competitors’ abnormal returns.

The results of the event study support a “learning story” – Netflix was the first to introduce streaming services to India, and consequently, it has the most volatile abnormal returns associated with India-related press releases, especially in the initial stages of product launch. The two competitor firms seem to have learned from Netflix’s experimentation with different approaches to subscriber acquisition in India, as the abnormal returns of Amazon and Disney on the day of India-related press releases are more positive. Second, I find that investors react most favorably to India-related press releases in categories that leverage the competitive advantages of each firm in India. For example, I find that the most positive abnormal returns for Netflix are associated with Changes in Subscription Offers and Content, aligning with the fact that Netflix’s primary strategies in India are experimenting with lower priced subscription tiers and heavy investments in original Indian content. This pattern plays out with competitor firms as well, as investors react positively to Amazon announcements in Usability and Content, and Disney announcements in Partnerships and Record Setting. Finally, I also find that an announcement regarding subscriber acquisition strategy by one firm in India does not seem to have an effect on the abnormal returns of competitor firms, regardless of press release category or firm issuing the press release.