Netflix is on pace to take over the world.
Or at least the world’s viewing devices.
In his keynote speech at the 2016 CES convention in Las Vegas, Netflix Founder and Chief Executive Reed Hastings announced Wednesday morning that Netflix has launched its streaming platform in 130 new countries.
But citizens of those countries weren’t the only ones celebrating the news.
According to Business Insider, shares of Netflix saw more than a 7 percent spike following the news, which was a relief to investors who’ve held the stock waiting for its heads to expand the product.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 6, 2016
“Today you are witnessing the birth of a new global Internet TV network,” Hastings said. “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 is now available in 21 different languages and has surprised many investors and followers of the company since they (Netflix) had previously set a goal of being available in most areas across the globe by the end of 2016. With today’s announcement they’re way ahead of schedule.
The move is a significant expansion of the online streaming service, and though Netflix now serves 130 countries, the company has failed to conquer the world’s largest market of internet users, China.
Hastings confirmed in his announcement Wednesday that Netflix has not landed in China yet but had hope that would change soon. He specified that “specific permission” was needed from Chinese government that they’re (Netflix) still working on achieving a resolution to dip into the Chinese market.
“The key in approaching the Chinese business is really working on relationships,” Hastings told the Associated Press. “In the rest of the world, we are racing ahead.”
Among the countries now able to binge on some of their beloved shows using the Netflix platform are India, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Turkey, Indonesia, and Azerbaijan.
China isn’t the only country on the out though. Due to U.S. restrictions, American companies, like Netflix, do not have the capacity to conduct business in the countries of North Korea, Syria, and Crimea.
The Netflix phenomenon is unprecedented and has evolved the manner in which people watch television and film in the 21st century. The streaming service has allowed millions of households to do away with cable subscriptions and replace that hefty cable bill with a $9-a-month subscription that provides you access to more than 600 hours of original programming that includes binge-worthy and award-winning series such as House of Cards, Narcos, and Orange is the New Black.
Not all material will be available to these newly acquired international countries though due to licensing agreements between Netflix and certain film/show companies. Walt Disney films, for instance, will only be limited to the U.S. and Canada as part of a deal negotiated years ago, but Netflix heads hope to expand those rights into other countries in the near future.
In the grand scheme of things, Netflix is on pace to accomplish what it set out to do when the streaming service first became available — dominate the entertainment industry in terms of how and where people go to view their media, and become a global TV network. The company’s CEO revealed Wednesday that Netflix subscribers watched an astounding 42.5 billion hours of programming last year alone and is currently in 70 million homes.
(AP Photo/Jacques Brinon, File)