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Netflix’s biggest competition isn’t sleep — it’s YouTube

December 09, 2018 / Phil Hornshaw

Each day in India’s capital New Delhi, hundreds of thousands of people take the quiet subway across the widely crowded suburbs to reach their work. The quietness is interrupted every few minutes as the train reaches a station and an ever-growing population jostles to find a seat. Seconds later, everyone returns their attention to their smartphone screen, resuming the comedy sketch they were watching on YouTube.More than 7,500 miles away, executives at Netflix are scrambling for new strategies to court this audience. Earlier this year, CEO Reed Hastings, who has identified sleep as the biggest competition of his service on multiple occasions, wondered out loud if the next 100 million Netflix subscribers are in India.Despite Netflix and Amazon investing billions of dollars in producing original content, they are struggling to make inroads in emerging markets. YouTube, on the other hand, is growing rapidly, becoming a daily habit for even new internet users.