Netflix movies, TV unlocked in 130 new countries | News | DW | 06.01.2016
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Netflix movies, TV unlocked in 130 new countries

The streaming content giant says it's made its Internet TV service available practically globally, including India. Until now, its shows and movies were available in 60 countries.

The company hailed the development, which will see its service reach billions of new viewers in a total of 190 countries including India, Russia, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, but not China.

"With this launch, consumers around the world - from Singapore to St. Petersburg, from San Francisco to Sao Paulo - will be able to enjoy TV shows and movies simultaneously - no more waiting," said co-founder and chief executive Reed Hastings.

The streaming video pioneer is aiming to massively boost its monthly subscriber numbers, which have already reached 70 million. Analysts say after years of growth in its original market, the US, is maturing with multiple competitors.

Netflix said it was trying to get the service switched on in China, where tight restrictions are placed on the media and where the government censors online content. It plans to reach 200 countries by the end of 2016.

Riding the 'on demand' wave

The video streamer, which launched in the US in 1997 as a DVD rental service, before expanding online a decade later and expanding to Canada, Europe, Latin America, and Japan.

Before this major expansion, Netflix already reached 60 countries but only arrived in Germany in 2014. Its main rivals are Amazon and, in the US, Hulu.

Analysts say demand for video on demand services with large catalogs has been building globally for the past decade.

"I think there's been pent-up demand for Netflix outside of the few geographies they were available in previously," Brian Blau, research director at Gartner, told Reuters.

As well as English, the service is now available in 17 languages including Arabic, Korean and Chinese.

Together with its catalog of existing Hollywood and international video content, Netflix said it planned to release 31 new and returning original series. Among its home-made shows are "House of Cards" and "Orange Is The New Black."

mm/rc (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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