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Netflix Now Available In 190 Countries And Growing!

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Netflix has begun 2016 with a bang! During the annual Consumers Electronics Show held at Las Vegas in early January, Netflix’s co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings announced the simultaneous launch of the company’s online streaming service in over 130 new territories. Considering that the service was already available in 60 countries, the announcement represents a significant step forward for Netflix which should help it realize its global ambitions and cheer its stakeholders.

Terming the announcement as the birth of a global internet TV network, Hastings said that consumers from around the world, right from Singapore to St. Petersburg and San Francisco to Sao Paulo; would now be able to enjoy their favorite TV shows and movies simultaneously with absolutely no waiting period involved whatsoever. He also added that the company’s online streaming technology is putting the power in the hand of consumers who can now watch whatever they want, whenever they want and wherever they want on a device of their choice.

While Netflix was expected to announce the launch of its service in territories like India, the company surprised one and all by expanding its operations globally. Among the major territories where the service was launched, Russia, India, South Korea, Turkey and Indonesia certainly top the list. However, the service is still not available in China which is home to one-quarter of the world’s total number of broadband subscribers. Admitting that much remains to be done despite the company’s foray in a number of new territories, Hastings said that the company was working with the Chinese government to obtain specific permissions which are required to operate in that market. He also stated that the company is absolutely committed to serving content to billion plus Chinese users and is ready to wait patiently till it obtained clearance from the Chinese authorities.

As well as debuting in a number of new territories, Netflix also added support for many new languages like Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Korean and Arabic for its streaming service. Yet, the service would be available in English and not in the local language in most new territories including Russia and India. Despite not being available in China, Netflix has a large Chinese audience which it hopes to serve by adding support for the Mandarin language.

In most new territories, Netflix’s streaming service would be priced at par with the US version. The company hopes to attract new subscribers by offering original TV series such as Marvel’s Daredevil, Sense8, Marco Polo and Marvel’s Jessica Jones in addition to a huge library of TV shows and movies. The company is also producing a number of original TV shows, feature films, comedy specials as well as documentaries which would become available throughout 2016. However, it must also be kept in mind that US based subscribers would still get access to the best content while those from other countries would have to be satisfied with a limited number of US based series and mostly local content.

Netflix is clearly betting big on its global expansion plans. However, managing the expectations of subscribers from so many different regions is not going to be easy and it remains to be seen whether the company’s streaming service can succeed in all new territories.

July 19, 2016

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