Netflix’s global expansion campaign accelerated Wednesday as CEO Reed Hastings announced the launch of service in India, Russia, South Korea and 127 other new territories and three more languages during his presentation at CES in Las Vegas.
Hastings called the rollout that went live during his session “the birth of a new global Internet TV network.” The streaming giant added Arabic, Korean and Chinese to the list of 17 other languages offered on its platform.
China itself remains an elusive target for Netflix. The company said in a statement it “continues to explore options for providing the service” in the world’s most populous country. Netflix also noted it is barred from launching in North Korea, Syria and the Crimea “due to U.S. government restrictions on American companies.”
Netflix was previously available in 60 countries. The company’s expansion in global territories started with Canada and has accelerated across Europe, Asia and Latin America during the past few years, coinciding with the dramatic increase in the volume of original programming it serves up.
Netflix’s march across the world has up-ended the status quo in Hollywood as the service has increasingly sought to secure global rights to the TV series and movies that it licenses. That’s a marked departure from the tradition of studios handling overseas sales on a market by market basis, and it’s a shift that is coming just as Hollywood has become more dependent on international revenue to ensure the profitability of most productions.