Get Ready For Netflix coming to South Africa Soon!
Netflix, the world’s leading video internet streaming service, will definitely be available in South Africa before the end of 2016, according to recent media reports.
This move follows the aggressive roll-out of Netflix – currently accessible in about 50 countries – to more countries across Europe at the end of 2014. Netflix will roll out from March in Australia and New Zealand – places with highly comparable TV markets to South Africa.
If you do not know what Netflix is, Netflix is the world’s leading internet subscription service for enjoying movies and TV shows. Founded in 1997, it has over 57 million members in nearly 50 countries enjoying more than two billion hours of TV shows and movies per month, including original series, documentaries and feature films. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on nearly any Internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.
Netflix also recently announced that it will expand this fall into Japan, as it moves to complete its global rollout by the end of 2016.With a constantly improving user experience, advanced personalization technology and a curated selection of films and TV shows, Netflix members are able to create their own viewing experience and can easily discover new favorites, while reconnecting with popular characters and stories.
Netflix members with a broadband connection can watch whenever, wherever they like, and on any Netflix-ready device they choose. Members can start watching on one device, pause, and then pick up where they left off on another, at home or on the go.
Netflix will be available at launch on smart TVs, tablets and smartphones, computers and a range of Internet-capable game consoles and set-top boxes. Additional details on pricing, programming and supported devices will be available at a later date. Consumers can sign up to be alerted when Netflix is available on www.netflix.com. Netflix explained that its strategy has been to expand as fast as it can while staying profitable on a global basis.
“Progress has been so strong that we now believe we can complete our global expansion over the next two years, while staying profitable, which is earlier than we expected,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells told shareholders. Netflix’s entry into South Africa – a TV and online video market still hampered by slow and expensive internet and broadband costs – will mean an avalanche of new content as the company has started to ramp up production of original new series, and plans to roll out about 20 new TV shows per year besides its library series and movie catalogue.
Netflix also plans to end “geoblocking” as soon as possible, giving people worldwide the same access, as far as possible, to the same content at the same time.
At the moment Netflix is blocked in South Africa and in several other countries outside of the United States where Netflix doesn’t yet run a regionalised service, with users who have to make use of a “VPN” to circumvent the regional restrictions at an additional monthly cost.
Netflix’ arrival in South Africa within a year or two carries implications most notably for MultiChoice’s DStv satellite pay-TV service and the pay-TV broadcaster M-Net who for the past two decades worked hard to secure exclusive broadcasting rights to top American TV shows in elaborate and multi-year deals with Hollywood studios and international distributors.
Although Netflix doesn’t have sport, it did already sign rights for hugely popular and buzz-worthy Netflix produced shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black which are currently being shown on M-Net.
Besides DStv and M-Net, the arrival of Netflix will also mean direct competition for new South African video-on-demand (VOD) players like VIDI, Altech’s Node and MTN’s FrontRow which all launched services in the latter part of last year.