The US Internet video streaming company Netflix announced at the annual CES event in Las Vegas that it had launched operations in India, Pakistan and 128 other countries. Before Wednesday’s announcement, the company had operations in 60 countries. It means the streaming company is now present in almost every country except China. Its services are also not available in Crimea, North Korea, and Syria due to the US government’s restrictions on American companies.
Now it’s time to focus on providing stellar content
There have been speculations for months that the Los Gatos-based company would soon launch its services in India, the world’s second most populous country. Russia, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria were among other countries where the service was launched, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said at the Consumer Electronics Show. The company was under pressure from investors to expand overseas as domestic growth slowed.
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In India, its basic plan costs INR 500 ($7.49). The company also offers other plans at INR 650 and INR 800. In Pakistan, users can watch movies and TV shows on Netflix for $7.99 per month. The streaming company boasts of 70 million subscribers worldwide. Now that its services are available across the globe, a major challenge for Netflix would be to provide stellar content.
Netflix adds support for more languages
The company’s popular shows include House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Daredevil, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Hastings said English would be the main language in most of the new markets. But the company has added support for Korean, Arabic, traditional Chinese, and simplified Chinese to the 17 languages it already supports.
The availability of original content could differ from one country to another due to local licensing agreements. It is still unclear whether the company would serve edited versions of some movies and shows to suit cultural sensitivities in a few countries. Hastings said the company was still exploring options for providing its service in China, the world’s most populous country. Beijing heavily sensors online content that it believes to be politically sensitive. Netflix would need special permission from the Chinese government. Hastings said the company would keep working on it.