Netflix goes global, reaches most countries except China

admin   •   January 7, 2016   •   1017

Reed Hastings, co-founder and CEO of Netflix, delivers a keynote address at the 2016 CES trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada January 6, 2016. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

Reed Hastings, co-founder and CEO of Netflix, delivers a keynote address at the 2016 CES trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada January 6, 2016. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

Netflix Inc’s video-streaming service went live in more than 130 countries on Wednesday, covering almost the entire globe except China, in a huge global push by Chief Executive Reed Hastings to counter slowing growth in the United States.

Shares of the company, whose popular shows include “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”, “Daredevil” and “Narcos”, jumped 9.3 percent to close at $117.68.

India, Nigeria, Russia and Saudi Arabia were among the major countries where the service was launched, Hastings said at a speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

“(This is) much sooner and much more ambitious than expected,” Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said.

Netflix, which had expanded into more than 60 countries before Wednesday’s launch, previously said it aimed to reach 200 countries by the end of 2016.

However, all shows will not be available immediately to some Netflix fans.

“We’re moving as quickly as we can to have global availability of all the content on Netflix,” Hastings said at a press conference after his speech.

U.S. government restrictions on American companies mean Netflix will not be available in Crimea, North Korea and Syria.

The company is still exploring options for providing its service in China, the world’s most populous country. Asked if Netflix will make it into the Chinese market in 2016, Hastings said in an interview “we hope so, but you never know.”

“With China, you really want to build relationships first, before you get to the practical parts of building a business,” he said. “And so we are doing that now and getting to know people, both in government and in partner companies.”

“We’ll just keep working on the relationships,” he said. “We are very patient. Whether it is 2016, 2017, we’ll just keep working on it.”

Netflix on Wednesday added simplified and traditional Chinese to the 17 languages it already supports.

“I think there’s been pent-up demand for Netflix outside of the few geographies they were available in previously,” Brian Blau, research director at Gartner, told Reuters.

Netflix, which has been spending aggressively to expand globally, has said it planned to “run around break-even through 2016” and then deliver profits.

(Additional reporting by Abhirup Roy and Supantha Mukherjee in Bengaluru, Jane Lee in Las Vegas and Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty, Maju Samuel and Sriraj Kalluvila and Diane Craft)

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Students put spoilers on Netflix ads to discourage people from going out

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 1, 2020

Two students in Germany launched a clever campaign to keep people, especially movie geeks, from going outdoors amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Art director Seine Kongruangkit and copywriter Matithorn Prachuabmoh Chaimoungkalo, from the Miami Ad School Europe, used people’s aversion to spoilers as inspiration in creating fake ads of popular Netflix shows.

Insight: People try hard to stay away from spoilers to their favourite show.

Idea: We discourage people from going out by putting up billboards filled with spoilers from Netflix Originals in gathering spaces.

“If the virus doesn’t stop you from going out, these spoilers will,” according to the description of the campaign ad.

The said campaign immediately went viral on social media with some thinking it is a good idea to keep people safe inside their home.

Palace lambasts detractors over Netflix video attacking Duterte

Marje Pelayo   •   May 15, 2019

Political comedian Hasan Minhaj | Courtesy: Netflix

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang lambasted a political-satire show on Netflix hosted by comedian Hasan Minhaj for “maliciously (implying) that President (Rodrigo) Duterte is an ‘autocrat’ who ‘every so often goes on a killing spree’.

“We find it desperate that, on the eve of the Philippine midterm elections, the vociferous detractors of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte would use an American comedy show, aired on Netflix, to demonize the Chief Executive and his government in its episode entitled ‘Brazil, Corruption and the Rainforest’ before the global audience,” Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement late Tuesday night.

Andanar made the remark after an episode of Hasan’s show “Patriot Act” went viral on social media a day before the May 13 midterm elections.

The Secretary hit Hasan for his “exaggerated” figures as the latter claimed that the government’s war on drugs allegedly yielded 27,000 deaths which is way higher than the actual, official count.

According to the Andanar, “There are about 5,050 drug personalities who died during the 115,435 anti-drug operations from July 2016 to November 2018.”

“We express outrage that such erroneous narratives, obviously peddled by anti-Duterte haters and trolls, would find their way to the gullible TV host and his comedy show and unwittingly parrot these falsehoods to an audience unaware of the real score in the Philippines,” he said.

In fact, Andanar said, a recent survey by an independent pollster which showed that 6 out of 10 Filipinos expressed their support to the government’s war on drugs “attesting that the campaign is effective.”

Also, in his video, the American comedian criticized Duterte for his endorsement of some senatorial aspirants.

In response, Andanar defended Duterte saying: “The President called on the public to vote for those who support his measures to uplift people from poverty and have a stable, comfortable, and peaceful life that they deserve. He also called on the public to dismiss black propaganda against the administration amid the midterm elections.”

But even if the President endorsed names for the senatorial election, the official argued that it is still the Filipino people that will decide on who shall be their leaders.

“The Philippines, like the USA, is a country where democracy is vibrant and the will of the people reigns supreme.  Ultimately, it is the Filipino people who will choose their own set of leaders and we simply have to respect the results of the elections,” Secretary Andanar stressed.

He added that the results of the midterm elections, which favored the candidates endorsed by President Duterte, just prove the Filipinos’ trust on the Chief Executive.

“The preliminary results of the nationwide polls affirmed that the public indeed heeded the President’s call. This proves that the voting population continues to believe in the genuine reforms advocated by the candidates endorsed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” he added

In the latter part of his commentary, Hasan expressed praises for personalities critical to the Duterte administration such as detained Senator Leila de Lima and Rappler CEO, Maria Ressa for “standing up” against the President.

But Andanar argued that “their cases underwent legal processes and their politics, or opposition to President Duterte, has nothing to do with the charges that they are now facing,”

“Both personalities violated domestic laws with Ms. Ressa committing tax evasion, breach of anti-dummy laws, and violation of cyber laws; and Senator De Lima transgressing anti-drug laws,” the Communication Secretary explained. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Rosaliie Coz)

Netflix allows subscribers to binge-watch shows offline

admin   •   December 1, 2016

The Netflix logo is shown in this illustration photograph in Encinitas, California October 14, 2014.   REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo The Netflix logo is shown in this illustration photograph in Encinitas, California October 14, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

The Netflix logo is shown in this illustration photograph in Encinitas, California October 14, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo
The Netflix logo is shown in this illustration photograph in Encinitas, California October 14, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

 

Video streaming pioneer Netflix Inc has added an option that allows subscribers to download shows at no additional cost on their mobile device to watch without an internet connection.

Netflix signaled in recent months it would add an offline viewing option to better compete as the streaming video market becomes more and more crowded. Amazon.com Inc’s rival streaming video service, Prime Video, has had this option for about a year.

While the new option announced on Wednesday is available for all of Netflix’s subscribers, it could have greater appeal in international markets such as Africa and Asia, where internet service is less ubiquitous than it is in the United States.

The international market is becoming the main driver of growth for Netflix. Of their 86.7 million subscribers, 47.5 million of them come from the United States.

Growth among U.S. subscribers has slowed in 2016. Netflix added just 370,000 subscribers during the third quarter and only 4.3 million since the third quarter of last year, suggesting they are reaching a saturation point.

In that same time frame, Netflix has added 13.2 million international subscribers, including 3.2 million in the third quarter. Much of that has to do with Netflix’s expansion by more than 130 countries earlier this year to over 190 nations currently. China is a notable holdout.

Not everything in Netflix’s vast library is available to download just yet, including the recently released “Gilmore Girls” revival. Currently available shows include Netflix-owned “Stranger Things,” “The Crown” and “Narcos” along with licensed shows and movies like “Parks and Recreation” and “Spotlight.”

“While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we’ve often heard they also want to continue their ‘Stranger Things’ binge while on airplanes and other places where Internet is expensive or limited,” Eddy Wu, director of product innovation, wrote in a blog post.

The new feature is included in all plans and available for phones and tablets on Alphabet Inc’s Android and Apple Inc’s iOS platforms, the company said.

Netflix shares rose as much as 2.4 percent before it eased, up 0.1 percent to $117.62 on Wednesday on the Nasdaq.

The new option received widespread praise on social media Wednesday.

“You can now download stuff off Netflix to watch without internet,” wrote Twitter user kt (@Katie_Ottaway_), “what did we do to deserve this miracle.”

#NetflixOffline was also the top-trending hashtag on Twitter, worldwide. — Reuters

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