Netflix has expanded to a whopping 130 countries, including India, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and South Korea, CEO Reed Hastings announced Wednesday.
“We’re at the start of a global revolution,” Hastings said in a speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “You are witnessing the birth of a global TV network.”
He added that the video-streaming service has vastly increased its viewership, with members watching 12 billion houurs of content in the fourth quarter of 2015, up 45 percent from a year earlier when members watched 8.25 billion hours.
The massive worldwide launch accelerated the company’s timeline of rolling out in 200 countries by the end of this year. But it was essentially a flipping of a switch in the new markets; anything that Netflix has the global rights to stream is available, but the sites in all locations don’t necessarily have preponderance of local content that makes them most appealing to new subscribers.
Netflix is entering a crucial year in 2016. Its international aggression comes as member additions in Netflix’s core U.S. streaming business has tripped up, struggling to keep up with the growth of previous years. But China remains a major hole, and one of the trickiest places for foreign media companies to operate.
Wednesday, Netflix pulled out some star power later in its CES presentation, as comedian Chelsea Handler, “Arrested Development” actor Will Arnett, “Jessica Jones” actress Krysten Ritter and “Narcos” star Wagner Moura joined Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s top content executive, on the stage.
Sarandos gave CES attendees first looks at original series “The Crown,” a drama about the interplay between Queen Elizabeth II and British prime ministers over several decades, and “The Get Down” a Baz Luhrmann series set in 1870s New York. Both are set for release this year.
Hasting added that the company has reached nearly half of U.S. homes, and said the streaming site would roll out high-dynamic range video later this year. HDR is a picture quality form that helps create brighter, more realistic highlights and other improvements. Rival Amazon has already deployed HDR on several original series.
13 Gadgets and People to Get Excited About at 2016 CES (Updating Photos)
2016 International Consumer Electronics Show
K-1 Assistive Devices are 3D-printable, functional, prosthetic hands that are donated to people in need.
The Ōura smart ring is a wellness computer paired with an app designed to help track your sleep and adjust your daily activities to optimize them.
Secretive California automaker Faraday Future unveiled its 1,000-horsepower electric concept car Monday night. Integrating a partnership with Chinese media firm LeTV, it provides a peek at the company's first production vehicle, set to go on sale in two years.
Cerevo's Tipron is a cute scooting robot that transforms into an Internet-connected projector. Its articulated head and neck allow it to project an 80-inch screen at different heights and angles, and it folds itself to a compact size when your movie is finished.
Prizm is a twist on the music player. A tool you plug into any speaker, it identifies who is in the room, what their music preferences are and the current mood -- and decides what's best to play.
Sphero's BB-8 is a "Stars Wars"-inspired wearable wristband that will let you use gestures to control and puppeteer the "Force Awakens" droid.
Shaken or stirred? Somabar is a Wi-Fi connected robotic bartender that can make more than 300 different cocktails.
Seaboard Rise's keyboard remodels the portable piano with a soft, sensor-embedded surface that responds to even light touches, and a thin lightweight form that makes it easy to take on the go.
Sick of hunting for a AAA battery when your remote goes dead? The Pilot ECO USBCell is a USB plug-in battery that fits the standard AA or AAA size. The first battery of its kind on the market, it can plug into virtually any USB port to recharge.
Sengled Voice integrates a microphone, speaker and LED bulb. Owners can control devices via voice commands, and it can enhance home security and safety by detecting the sound of glass breaking or a baby crying.
The Alcatel CareTime kid's smartwatch is equipped with its own SIM card for children to call for help with the five pre-set numbers their parents approve and a GPS tracker that allows parents to set safety boundary on Google Map and get alert if their kids exit that area.
"Entourage" star Adrian Grenier greeted the audience at the Dell Consumer Press Dinner on Jan. 7
Sony President and CEO Kazuo Hirai spoke to members of the media during a press event for CES 2016 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas on Jan. 5, 2016
President and COO of Samsung Electronics America Tim Baxter spoke to members of the media during a press event for CES 2016 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on Jan. 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Sony Electronics President and COO Mike Fasulo spoke to members of the media during a press event for CES 2016 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on January 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Funimation Founder and CEO Gen Fukunaga and COO Mike DuBoise pose with characters as they arrive at the FunimationNow 2016 CES launch party on Jan. 7
Nick Cannon (far right) was joined by Alex Hissom, Andrea Wynn, Wynn Resorts Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn for the Encore Player's Club grand opening celebration at Wynn Las Vegas on Jan. 6 during CES.
Bob Marley's son, Rohan arrives at the House of Marley booth during CES 2016.
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Robots, concept cars and ”Star Wars“ tie-ins are dominating the buzz for the 2016 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, running Jan. 6-9