During CES Netflix CEO Hastings Says It Added Service to 130 More Countries

Posted by at 1:02 pm on January 6, 2016

Netflix CES 2016Netflix has gone live in nearly every country in the world. The firm announced it switched on service in 130 additional countries.

Before Wednesday, Netflix was available in 60 countries and 17 languages. New service is now offered in Vietnam, India, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey and Indonesia.

Making the announcement was Netflix CEO Reed Hastings at his keynote speech at the CES tech show in Las Vegas. Hastings also said his service had kicked off the “binge era” of TV consumption.

He said Netflix was still trying to expand to China. The other exceptions are North Korea, Syria and Crimea, where it is banned from operating by US law. Hastings said Netflix was in talks with the Chinese government, but acknowledged it would take time to reach an agreement.

“It’s a very large country, you know a billion Chinese that we want to give access to the Netflix content,” he said. “In China you need specific permission from the government to operate, so we are continuing to work on that and we are very patient.”

High dynamic range video allows compatible TVs to show millions more colours and a wider dynamic range – added shades of brightness in between black and white – letting more detail be shown. Many experts believe the impact is greater than that of just jumping from 1080p to 4K ultra-high definition resolution alone. One consequence of using the format, however, is that it requires more data, and few TVs support it yet.

Hastings said users with compatible TVs should get a “visceral sensation that’s pretty amazing.” The firm’s rival, Amazon, began streaming a limited number of shows in the format in 2015.

Audience members at the Las Vegas event were also given a first look at some of the service’s forthcoming shows, including:

“The Crown” – a biopic of Queen Elizabeth II starring Claire Foy and Matt Smith, and “The Get Down” – a musical drama about New York’s disco scene in the 1970s, created by “Moulin Rouge” director Baz Luhrmann.

The firm also teased “Chelsea Does…,” a documentary series from comedian Chelsea Handler that will cover topics including drugs, racism, marriage and Silicon Valley. In addition, it announced Ricky Gervais will direct and starg in a film called “Special Correspondents” about a journalist who broadcasts fake war reports. The film will be added to its library in April.

Hastings also revealed some fresh statistics about the service. He said it now served a total of 125 million hours a day of entertainment to its viewers, and had streamed 12 billion hours-worth of video over the final three months of 2015, which is nearly 50 percent up on the same period in 2014.

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