By Sahil Patel
Netflix wants to be in 200 countries by the end of 2016 — so expect it to make a lot of these types of announcements in the coming months: Confirming a report from CNBC, the streaming company said it plans to launch in Japan in the fall of 2015.
The expansion to Japan will follow the previously announced launches in Australia and New Zealand, which will get legal access to Netflix in March.
Japan is a big get for Netflix. The country has over 36 million broadband households, making it the third largest market behind only China (189 million) and the US (91 million), according to the International Telecommunication Union. (China, which Netflix has made “modest” inroads toward, will be a much tougher get, according to CEO Reed Hastings.)
As expected, Netflix in Japan will offer a library of film and TV shows curated for the Japanese audience. It will include a “strong selection” of Japanese TV series and films, as well as Netflix originals like “Marco Polo,” “Sense8” (from the Wachowskis), “Marvel’s Daredevil,” and the Oscar-nominated documentary film “Virunga.”
As part of the Japanese launch, Netflix also plans to open a regional office in Tokyo, the company said. It will be led by Netflix’s chief streaming and partnerships officer Gregory K. Peters, who has been promoted to GM of Netflix Japan.
“It is an honor to bring Netflix to Japan, and we’ll work hard to please consumers there,” said Peters in a statement. “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.”
At launch, Netflix will be available online and across an array of smart TVs, connected-TV consoles, and smartphones and tablets. Details on pricing, specific programming, and supported devices will be announced at a later date, Netflix said.