Netflix Continues Global Expansion Across Asian Markets

The popular streaming video on demand provider, Netflix, has announced this week, in a follow up to a successful roll-out of its services in Japan, that the company's popular streaming service will be expanding further into the Asian markets in the first quarter of the upcoming year. The press-release highlighted the company's plans to expand service into Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan, in a continued reach into new markets as the company shifts to a global focus.

The Los Gatos, California is taking a broader view, as the company has publicly turned its focus to aggressive and extensive international expansion in recent months. This is not the first expansion Netflix has initiated as part of a larger company plan. Earlier this year, the streaming company successfully launched services in Cuba, Australia, and New Zealand, with additional launches scheduled in Italy, Portugal, and Spain for next month. The current push into new markets supports the company’s self stated goal of full global roll-out by the end of 2016, with an aim at being present in 200 countries worldwide. 

According to information posted on the company's official website, Netflix currently claims to have close to 65 million subscribers and is available in over 50 countries worldwide, offering their services for a low monthly fee. Paid subscribers of the service have instant access to some of the most popular TV shows, movies, and kid friendly programming available. Along with high-definition, the service often includes locally relevant subtitles in international markets. These services are provided through a variety of devices, including televisions, tablets, and smartphones. In Asia, the Netflix app for smartphones are expected to streamline the introduction of the service, as more of the population beyond large cities gain access to Internet. 

Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings said regarding the opening markets in Asia, “The combination of increasing Internet speeds and ubiquity of connected devices provides consumers with the anytime, anywhere ability to enjoy their favorite TV show and movies on the Netflix services. These four markets well represent those trends.”

In American and European market, similar streaming services, such as Hulu and Amazon, have created a competitive market for Netflix. Currently, the Asian market is largely under serviced for VOD streaming. Internet access continues to spread, leaving open space for the streaming giant to step in. Company shares had begun to drop in recent months and the focus on expansion has become vital to the future of the company. 

The current expansion into the international market has boosted Netflix shares by 6%, as revenue from international operations has also climbed steadily in the same time period, leading to speculation on further expansion possibilities. 

The company press release gave no details about a widely suspected possible expansion into the Chinese market, where competition for streaming services is strong. There was also no immediate details given on possible programming or pricing for the announced roll-outs in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. Services in the new markets are expected to begin early next year.