When we woke up this morning, Netflix was available in around 60 countries, which is a pretty big feat for any company that has to deal with the insane logistics of streaming video to customers around the globe. There’s not just the technical issues of delivering the data, but also acquiring content and making sure it’s licensed correctly in each market.
This morning, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings ended his keynote address at CES International by saying that the number one question he gets asked when traveling the world is “When is Netflix gonna come here?”
Then, said Hastings, “While we have been here on stage at CES, we switched Netflix on in Azerbaijan, in Vietnam, in India, in Nigeria, in Poland, in Russia, in Saudi Arabia, in Singapore, in South Korea, in Turkey, in Indonesia, and in 130 new countries.”
Hastings acknowledged the vast hole that is China, saying that “we hope to also be [there] in the future.”
Netflix had been largely unavailable to the continents of Africa and Asia, but today’s additions mean that the company is now streaming to every continent — including Antarctica.
Likewise, the previously omitted Central and Eastern portions of Europe are now included under the Netflix umbrella.
Missing from the list of countries are Crimea, North Korea, and Syria. Federal restrictions prevent U.S. companies from doing business in these corners of the world.
With new countries come new languages. Netflix was already available in 17 different languages around the world but today added support for Arabic, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese.
“Today you are witnessing the birth of a new global Internet TV network,” said Hastings in a statement released after the keynote. “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. With the help of the Internet, we are putting power in consumers’ hands to watch whenever, wherever and on whatever device.”