In a presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Netflix today (January 6) confirmed it has expanded into 130 markets globally. This is up from its previous market penetration of about 60.
CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings confirmed the news during his keynote presentations.
“Today you are witnessing the birth of a new global Internet TV network,” said Hastings. “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.”
In 2016, the company plans to release 31 new and returning original series, two dozen original feature films and documentaries, a wide range of stand-up comedy specials and 30 original kids series – available at the same time to members everywhere. While largely available in English in most new countries, Netflix today added Arabic, Korean, simplified and traditional Chinese to the 17 languages it already supports, according to a release.
Netflix will not yet be available in China (though Hastings promises to expand there as well), where it now faces heavy competition from entrenched players. It also won’t be available in Crimea, North Korea and Syria, due to U.S. government restrictions, according to a release.
Netflix’s expansion strategy has largely been driven by a goal of reaching 200 countries by the year’s end. To date, it’s expanded into more than 50 countries, including most recently in Spain, Italy and Portugal.
In a report to shareholders released Oct. 14, Hastings, along with David Wells, CFO, said the company’s new-member forecast for the U.S. proved too high. Netflix added 880,000 new subscribers in the quarter (for a total of 43.18 million), missing the target of 1.15 million.
In all, Netflix expected to finish 2015 at about 44.83 million subscribers, up only slightly from 39.11 million at the end of 2014. Outside the U.S., global net subscriber additions totaled 2.74 million, compared to 2.04 million in the prior year, and well above the 2.40 million Q3 forecast.
On the heels of its latest launch in Japan, Netflix had nearly 26 million members internationally. The company expects to end 2015 at 29.5 million following its roll-out later this month in Spain, Italy and Portugal.
More to come.