CES 2016: Netflix Goes Truly Global, Adds 130 New Countries

The lab attended the opening keynote of CES 2016 featuring Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings, who announced near the end of his presentation that this morning Netflix launched in 130 new global markets, including some major ones such as India and Russia. With this radical expansion, Netflix’s service is now available in almost every country in the world, with only China as a conspicuous hold-out.

Reports have also noted that Netflix has stricken a partnership with South Korea-based TV manufacturer LG to include its subscription as a prepaid service in LG’s new smart TVs, as part of Netflix’s global expansion plan. But there was curiously no mention of this partnership during the keynote presentation. Mr. Hastings also shared a few first-look trailers for some of its upcoming new series, including Baz Luhrmann’s hip hop musical The Get Down and new British royal drama The Crown, which focuses on the early life of Queen Elizabeth.

During the keynote, Reed Hastings proudly recapped Netflix’s rapid development into today’s leading OTT content provider, citing stats such as 70 million household users clocking up a total of 42.5 billion viewing hours for 2015. As a streaming services, Netflix’s “all-episodes-at-once” approach gives viewers more control in their content consumption and ushered in a new on-demand “binge-watching” era. TV is now no longer linear and restricted to a programming grid, but instead full of choices and quality content free to be consumed on any devices. In this new era of Internet TV, brands needs to start figuring out new ways to reach today’s audiences, especially with product placement or sponsorships in ad-free environments like Netflix.

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