Netflix just dipped its toes into Asia with a launch in Japan this month, and now the U.S. video streaming service has revealed plans for a major expansion that will see it hit four more countries in the region early next year.
South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong And Taiwan are next on the list for Asia as Netflix “moves to complete its global rollout by the end of next year.”
Netflix isn’t saying too much about these launches at this point — it usually keeps the price of its service quiet until right before a new launch — so we’ll have to wait for further details on its exact launch schedule, and more.
For one thing, though, it does look like this is very much the starting point for the company in Asia. Beyond these four additional countries, you’d expect that the company may also roll out in India and some of Southeast Asia’s largest markets — Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Philippines — while its stance on China in less clear. The company was rumored to have held talks with Wasu Media, a company that Alibaba founder Jack Ma has invested in. Netflix has declined to comment specifically on its plans for China, but Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos previously called the country ” too big to have an asterisk next to it.”
In Southeast Asia, a number of streaming sites have surfaced to test the subscription model that Netflix itself pioneered across the region. Malaysia-headquartered iFlix is backed by $30 million in investment, while Hooq was spun out of operator Singtel and includes Sony Pictures and Warner Brother as backers. In China, Alibaba has just begun testing a fully paywalled streaming service — ‘TBO’ is the first of its kind in the country, where video services are typically ad-supported.