Netflix announced this week that it will be undergoing a series of expansions across the globe, the first of which will be into the highly competitive Japanese market, where several native Japanese video services currently hold dominance.
In Japan, Netflix will continue to operate much the same way it does in its current locations. A large selection of popular movies and TV shows will viewable by users, and all videos will be available in high quality formats. High-definition is expected for most videos but some will also be available in 4K. Specialized content including Japanese TV series and films, that are not currently available, will be added to help appeal to Japanese audiences. This new content will also be available for view by users world wide.
"With its rich culture and celebrated creative traditions, Japan is a critical component of our plan to connect people around the world to stories they love," said Netflix's CEO Reed Hastings. "As we expand into Asia, we're excited Netflix members increasingly will have access to some of their favorite movies and TV shows no matter where they are."
Culture may not be the only motivation for launching in Japan first, however. In Japan, 86.3 percent of the island nation's population has access to the Internet, with 36 million homes connected to broadband Internet. Japan also ranks seventh in terms of world Internet speed with an average of 36.32 Mbps. With so many users connected to high-speed Internet, it isn't surprising why Netflix sees Japan as a perfect market to expand into.
To help manage operations in Japan, and to handle strategic partnerships with Japanese companies producing films and TV shows, Netflix plans to open a new office in Tokyo.
"It is an honor to bring Netflix to Japan, and we'll work hard to please consumers there," said Gregory K. Peters, who will be the new general manager for Netflix Japan. "People in Japan soon will have access to great entertainment from all over the world for a low monthly price, while our more than 57 million members will benefit from increased access to great Japanese films and TV shows."
Netflix does not plan to stop with Japan. Netflix plans to expand into an additional 149 nations, as well. The popular video service is currently only available in 50 nations worldwide. With the expansion into Japan and the other 149 nations, Netflix will soon become a global service.
The expansion is scheduled to start this year and will continue until the end of 2016, when all 150 nations will have access to Netflix.