One of the biggest surprise announcements from CES came in Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ keynote that Netflix is expanding its reach right around the globe in one fell swoop.
Previously, the OTT giant was ‘only’ available in 60 countries, so bringing 130 new countries online overnight pays testament to the number of cloud-based servers it can spin up at fairly short notice. In fact, it wasn’t even overnight, it was while Hastings was speaking, which is pretty impressive stuff.
It also added Arabic, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese to the 17 languages it already supports.
The Chinese support is interesting as that is the one substantial nut left to crack for the network, though a statement says that “the company continues to explore options for providing the service.”
It also won’t be available in Crimea, North Korea and Syria due to US government restrictions on American companies conducting business in those areas.
The service is being launched with the aid of LG and, in his speech, Hastings revealed some fairly staggering numbers, namely that Netflix reached almost half of all US households and 70 million homes globally, with 12 billion hours of content consumed in Q4 of 2015. What’s more, it’s planning to offer more than 600 hours of original material in 2016.
He also confirmed that the company will launch HDR streams later this year, starting with the second season of Marco Polo.
Once upon a time in the 19th century it was the British Empire that coloured the map of the world red. Now it's Netflix.