Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced Wednesday that Netflix has expanded to 130 more countries, growing to just about everywhere but China.
“Today, right now you are witnessing the birth of a global TV network,” he said onstage in Las Vegas during the Consumer Electronics Show.
The company’s streaming service was previously available in 60 countries. The new countries include Azerbaijan, India, Vietnam, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Singapore. Hastings said Netflix hopes to reach China in the future, as well, but offered no specific timeframe.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.
The Los Gatos, California, company has helped bring about a big shift in how and when we watch videos, resulting in more binge-watching of series and more people leaving their cable subscriptions for streaming services. Hoping to become a bigger fixture of your TV, Netflix is ramping up into feature-length films and growing its roster of original TV shows, such as its popular political thriller “House of Cards.”
Yet, as the company has grown, so has competition. Amazon and Hulu are fierce rivals, and Google is reportedly readying a push into premium content with its new subscription service, YouTube Red. With a variety of major competitors in streaming video, cable operators now face more threats to keeping their customers, but so does Netflix.
At last year’s CES, Netflix announced the “Netflix Recommended TV program.” The new evaluation program was designed to help consumers choose smart TVs that offer better performance, easier menu navigation and new features that Netflix claims improve the Internet TV viewing experience.