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Netflix expands its super cheap mobile-only subscriptions

It allows for a single standard-definition stream and was only available in India. Now it's come to Malaysia too.

People in Malaysia and India have a cheap option if they want to watch Jesse Pinkman's further adventures in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.

Netflix made a push for Asian subscribers on Thursday by expanding its cheap mobile-only subscription to Malaysia. It was previously only available in India, after being revealed in July.

The service costs 17 ringgit (around $4), and allows one phone or tablet to view a standard-definition (480-pixel) stream at a time. It's slightly more expensive than the 199 rupees (about $3) Indians pay for the same service.

"Our members in Malaysia love to watch shows on their smartphones and tablets," Ajay Arora, Director of Product Innovation at Netflix, said in a release.

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Netflix says that 78% of Malaysia's internet users stream or download entertainment. Its subscribers in the country watch twice as much content on their phones as the average viewer elsewhere in the world. Upcoming show The Ghost Bride was made in Malaysia.

In July, Netflix revealed that its international subscriber base grew by 2.83 million paid members to 91.46 million in the last quarter, which was less 4.7 million new signups it hoped for. It's hoping to add 6.2 million people internationally in the current quarter.

Its international efforts come as it faces stiff competition in the US streaming market -- Apple TV Plus hits Nov. 1 and Disney Plus arrives Nov. 12, with AT&T's HBO Max and NBCUniversal's Peacock coming in early 2020. On Wednesday, Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos expressed his surprise that those companies hadn't jumped on the streaming bandwagon long ago.

Netflix didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on whether or not it plans to bring its mobile-only tier to other regions.

First published July 24.
Updated Oct. 24 at 4 a.m. PT: Notes that cheap tier is available in Malaysia.