Internet television network Netflix, has announced the expansion of its global services. It can be now accessed by users in more than 130 new countries including India. The company made the announcement during a keynote by Co-founder and Chief Executive Reed Hastings at CES 2016.
Netflix currently claims to have a user base of about 70 million members and gives users access to TV shows and movies including original series, documentaries and feature films. By paying a monthly subscription fee users can consume content that they wish, without commercials, on almost all internet connected screens and devices. In the beginning, Netflix is offering Indian users subscription plans starting from INR 500 per month.
Since Netflix launched its streaming service in 2007, the service has expanded globally, first to Canada, then to Latin America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan to include 60 countries. In a post on the company’s blog, Hastings says,
Today you are witnessing the birth of a new global Internet TV network. With the help of the Internet, we are putting power in consumers’ hands to watch whenever, wherever and on whatever device.
Netflix will not yet be available in China, though the company continues to explore options for providing the service. It also won’t be available in Crimea, North Korea and Syria due to U.S. government restrictions on American companies. While largely available in English in most new countries, Netflix has also added Arabic, Korean, simplified and traditional Chinese to the 17 languages it already supports.
In 2016, the company plans to release 31 new and returning original series, two dozen original feature films and documentaries, stand-up comedy specials and 30 original kids series -- available at the same time to members everywhere. With this global launch, Netflix is now live in about 190 countries.
Experts predict that 2016 will be the year video content will explode. Companies such as Facebook, Snapchat, Meerkat, Twitter's Periscope are currently focusing on leveraging video content on their platforms. Experts predict that by 2019, 80 percent of all Internet traffic will be through videos. That figure would be 64 percent higher than 2014 and a significant portion of the growth is expected to occur in 2016.
Netlfix is among the most popular internet streaming services and had gained immense traction for its original series, with- 'Daredvil and 'House of Cards' being their most popular shows. The company competes with deep pocketed players and industry giants such as Hulu, Youtube, Amazon Instant video, Sling TV, Vudu, Apple's iTunes and Google Play.
Closer home in India, online video streaming hasn't caught up as much with a vast majority of the population consuming video content through their cable operators and television sets. But streaming services such as Hotstar, Eros Now, HOOQ, Eros Now, Spuul and Lukup Media are seeing good traction. On the other side, there is a market of NRIs who wish to watch Indian movies and platforms like Muvizz cater to them with Over The Top (OTT) services.
Netflix has brought in innovations in the video streaming space popularising the concept of 'binge watching.' Going against the industry practices of releasing one episode at a time, it released the entire season of some of its original shows and this created a lot of buzz for the company.
While music streaming services such as Saavn and Gaana.com have done well in India, they rely on a combination of paid and ad supported streams to generate revenue. It may still be too early to say if Netflix will be able to achieve its expected levels of success in India, with an ad-free, paid service. Low internet penetration, unstable bandwidth and piracy are some of the hurdles that Netflix and other video streaming services will have to overcome in India. Indian metro cities will most likely be at the forefront and be the biggest market for video streaming platforms till the rest of India gains better and more affordable internet access.
Website: Netflix India
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- Video On Demand
- Reed Hastings
- video streaming services
- Internet TV network
- TV shows