Netflix has wasted no time in expanding its streaming service to Latin America, with 43 countries being added to its borders over the coming week. Where will the company head next in its quest for global domination?
Netflix Heads South
Netflix may be losing access to Starz content but that isn’t waylaying the company’s plans to forage further afield for potential customers. With North America already sewn up, it’s now moving southwards in an effort to continue its surge onwards and upwards.
It was only the middle of July that Netflix announced this move into Latin America, Mexico, and the Caribbean, but six weeks on and the service is already being rolled out to the 43 countries and territories in that geographic locale.
Brazil is first, with the likes of Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Columbia, and Mexico gaining access in the coming days. The price in each country differs, but is consistently between $7 and $10. U.S. customers now pay $7.99 for the streaming-only service.
Content Is Key
As Netflix expands internationally, content becomes an issue. It isn’t as though the world is a one size fits all empire whereby everyone watches the same content, so each territory is getting its own specialized set of content partners and genres.
Rochelle King, Netflix VP of User Experience and Design, said in a post on The Netflix Blog:
“Over the last few months, our team has spent countless hours in the region learning as much as we can about how Latin Americans think about, and enjoy, movies and TV shows. We’ve licensed thousands and thousands of hours of feature films, classic favorites, gripping telenovelas, documentaries and kids shows we know you’ll enjoy.”
Content is key, both in the U.S. and beyond. And as Netflix expands it’s going to find it harder to retain the partnerships it has been able to build to this point. Most partners will likely demand a massive amount of cash to keep the deals intact. Perhaps by expanding, Netflix is lessening the risk of being held at gunpoint by increasingly-antsy content providers.
The question now is where Netflix will head next. As a U.K. resident I’m hoping Europe is next on the agenda, as has already been rumored for the beginning of 2012. But Hulu tried and failed to establish a European base of operations and eventually headed to Japan instead. So I won’t hold my breath just yet.
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