LOS ANGELES — Netflix is headed south.
The popular home entertainment subscription company
has confirmed that it will launch its online streaming service in 43
countries in South and Central America and the Caribbean later this
year. An announcement released Tuesday morning didn’t specify a precise
The move will mark a significant expansion for
Netflix, which is available only in the United States and Canada.
Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings has identified international
expansion as key to his company’s growth, though he hasn’t identified
where the next launch would be. Entertainment industry executives
briefed on the matter who weren’t authorized to speak on the record
previously told the Los Angeles Times that Netflix was preparing to
expand soon to Latin America and Great Britain.
As in Canada, where Netflix debuted in September,
Latin American users will only have access to Netflix’s online streaming
service. DVDs by mail, the company’s original offering when it launched
in 1998, continues to be available only in the United States.
In Europe, Netflix would face competition from the
similar service Lovefilm, which was acquired in January by Amazon.com.
But in Latin America, Netflix will have the opportunity to be as
dominant as it is in the U.S. and Canada. As of March 31 it had 23.6
million subscribers, 800,000 of whom were from Canada.
The company said its new service in Latin America
will be available in English, Spanish and Portuguese, which is spoken in
regional powerhouse Brazil, and will include a mix of American, global
and local films and television shows for a single monthly price that has
yet to be announced. The company didn’t say how much content will be
available. Digital rights are typically separated by nation or region,
meaning Netflix would have to make separate deals to offer the same
movies and television shows in Latin America that users in the U.S. and
Canada can currently access.
In the U.S., access to Netflix’s online streaming offerings costs as little as $7.99 per month.
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