Netflix has achieved its dream of almost total world domination, only six days into the new year.
The VOD giant simultaneously launched its streaming service in 130 new countries today, meaning that the site is now available in 190 countries worldwide. And you thought your new year’s resolution was going well.
The company made the announcement during a keynote speech by CEO Reed Hastings at CES 2016.
“Today you are witnessing the birth of a new global Internet TV network,” he declared. “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. With the help of the Internet, we are putting power in consumers’ hands to watch whenever, wherever and on whatever device.”
Netflix has had its eye on world domination for some time now, with one major obstacle in its way: licensing restrictions. Buying the rights to third party content is costly, especially as they launch in a growing number of territories. The company’s secret weapon, though, has proven integral to its business strategy: original content. Shows such as Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards have helped to distinguish Netflix from other streaming rivals, as well as attract subscribers because they’re exclusive. Crucially, though, this content can all be streamed globally by Netflix without worrying about territory restrictions.
In 2016, the company plans to release 31 new and returning original series, two dozen original feature films and documentaries, a wide range of stand-up comedy specials and 30 original kids series, all of which will be available at the same time to members everywhere in almost 200 countries. (Many Netflix original series and films are also available in high-definition with Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound and some in Ultra HD 4K.) It is not inconceivable, then, that in the near future, Netflix could phase out third party content altogether to offer only its original titles, not unlike a global HBO.
“From today onwards, we will listen and we will learn, gradually adding more languages, more content and more ways for people to engage with Netflix,” said Hastings.
Indeed, Netflix is also improving its accessibility, adding Arabic, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese to the 17 languages it already supports.
There are some countries where Netflix is not yet available, though: the company is not available in China, although the company continues to explore options in the country. It also is not available in Crimea, North Korea and Syria due to US government restrictions on American companies. If those ever change, though, you can bet Netflix will waste no time at all in completing its aim of total world domination.