Netflix finally has a launch date for Asia — it will launch in Japan on September 2, 2015.
Earlier this year, the video-streaming company revealed plans to enter Japanthis coming fall, though a firm launch date had yet to materialize. Now, with a Netflix-branded Twitter account and landing page in tow, Netflix has confirmed the official launch date with VentureBeat and the countdown can begin.
Founded in 1997, Netflix began life in the U.S. as an online DVD-rental service, but the California-based company has moved with the times and is now one of the major global brands in the video-streaming realm. At the time of writing, Netflix is available in more than 50 markets, across the Americas (including Cuba) and large swathes of Europe. It’s also available in Australia and New Zealand, but has yet to make an appearance in Asia.
Flush with cash, Netflix has been placing greater focus on original content of late, and this has proven an effective differentiating strategy. Indeed, Kevin Spacey emerged triumphant at the Golden Globes this year for top actor (drama) for House of Cards — a Netflix production. The previous year, Netflix notched up seven Emmy awards, four more than the year before. And it also won its first Oscar for a documentary short.
However, to maximize the return on this investment, Netflix will need to push out into new markets.
Other upcoming launches include Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Iceland, which are expected to go live in the next couple of months, with the Czech Republic following in 2016. Netflix has previously revealed that it plans to be available globally, in more than 200 countries, by the end of 2016.
Meanwhile, Netflix has been bolstering subscription numbers in its existing markets too — last quarter it reported a rise of almost 1 million new subscribers in the U.S., and 2.4 million internationally. This took its total paying members to almost 66 million.