The push toward international customers in streaming online video continues. Last week we saw YouTube roll out its Movies service for streaming film rentals to Canada, and Hulu extended its service into Japan. And now Netflix is officially open for business in Mexico, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Brazil.
Announced two months ago, Netflix officially launched their streaming service in Brazil today, and plans to roll it out to 43 other countries in Latin America and The Caribbean over the next week or so, concluding the rollout by September 12th.
Brazilians get a special treat as the first new Latin America customers, with a free one-month trial of the service beginning today.
Here's the rough schedule on the Latin American Netflix rollout:
- On Wednesday, September 7, Argentina, Uruguay, & Paraguay will all gain access to Netflix.
- On Thursday, September 8, it opens up to Chile & Bolivia.
- On Friday, September 9, Netflix goes live in the Andean region, including Peru and Ecuador.
- Monday, September 12, the service comes to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.
Here's Netflix CEO Reed Hastings on the expansion:
"We are excited to be bringing Netflix to Latin America and the Caribbean. People throughout the region are online in ever-greater numbers and they love movies and TV shows. We are proud to bring them the Netflix experience of instantly enjoying as many movies and TV shows as they want, when they want for one low price."
It's easy to forget the rest of the world sometimes, isn't it? While we worry about the future of Netflix and how they'll secure new release content now that Starz has walked away from negotiations, they're growing and expanding into new markets--markets that, for all we know, won't care nearly as much about new release content as American customers do. It's entirely possible that Netflix is focused on growing internationally rather than on just pleasing the U.S. market.
That doesn't mean their content deals are unimportant. In fact, there's a pretty good chance that Latin Americans will want newer content as well. But there should be a wave of new customers in the short term who are just happy to finally have access to Netflix and their existing content.
We can't pin all of Netflix's future hopes on new releases from Hollywood studios. The fact of the matter is that films and television shows are produced all around the world. With the right licensing deals in the right countries, Netflix might not need a deal with someone like Starz to succeed and even thrive around the globe.