Netflix more than doubles in expansion

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings unveiled a huge global expansion plan that includes access to the video-on-demand service in 130 countries.

Previously Netflix was available in 60 countries and users watched 42.5 billion hours of Netflix in 2015, reported The Globe and Mail.

"While you have been listening to me talk, the Netflix service has gone live in almost every country in the world, except China. And we hope to be there soon," Hastings said at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. "No more waiting ... no more watching on a schedule that's not your own. You are witnessing the birth of a global TV network."

The company already grew substantially in 2015, up from 29 billion viewing hours in 2014 and 19 billion hours in 2013.

For a monthly price, members of Netflix have access to the company's original series as well as a catalog of licensed TV shows and movies. In 2016, the company plans to release 31 new and returning original series, two dozen original feature films and documentaries, a range of comedy specials and 30 original kids series.

Previously available in English in most countries, Netflix has now added Arabic, Korean and Chinese to the 17 languages it already supports.

Netflix has 1,000 engineers working at improving the technical aspects of the service and spends a giant investment in delivering streaming over the Internet. Videos can be watched on virtually any device with an Internet connection, including computers, smartphones, TVs and game consoles.

"Today you are witnessing the birth of a new global Internet TV network," said Hastings.

As digital streaming service competition heats up, more and more retailers and television aim to compete with brands such as Netflix and Hulu. In March 2015, Target (NYSE:TGT) announced it will officially shut down Target Ticket, its digital entertainment service. Ticket allowed customers to rent and buy movies and TV shows on-demand.

For more:
-See this The Globe and Mail article
-See this Netflix press release

Related stories:
Netflix reaches 50 million subscribers
Target dumps streaming video service
New Amazon Fire takes aim at Apple
Amazon's Vine.com relaunches as online grocer with a twist
Amazon to stream HBO
 

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