Netflix could soon land in SA - TechCentral

Netflix could soon land in SA


The chances of Netflix being launched in South Africa soon have just got a lot better.

The company’s CEO, Reed Hastings, says in a letter to shareholders, issued on Tuesday, that the online video pioneer intends aggressively stepping up its international expansion strategy, growing the number of countries in which it operates from 50 to 200 by the end of next year.

Although a number of South African consumers subscribe to Netflix, they have to use technical trickery or subscribe to virtual private networking services to gain access as it is not officially available here.

“Our international expansion strategy over the last few years has been to expand as fast as we can while staying profitable on a global basis,” Hastings says in the letter to investors.

“Progress has been so strong that we now believe we can complete our global expansion over the next two years, while staying profitable, which is earlier than we expected. We then intend to generate material global profits from 2017 onwards.”

Hastings says Netlix has learnt a great deal about the content people prefer in different markets.

“Acceleration to 200 countries is largely made possible by the tremendous growth of the Internet in general, including on phones, tablets and smart TVs. We intend to stick to our core ad-free subscription model. As with our initial round of international expansion, we’ll get some things wrong and do our best to fix them quickly.”

He says the company has a “good idea” of the best approach for Netflix to take in most countries.

“It is advantageous for Netflix to become global in many ways. The big one is absolute size (faster to US$10bn in revenue) because that revenue allows us to develop and license more content for our members and improve our service,” he says in the letter.

“A second is being able to source great stories from around the world and deliver them to the world. A third is the efficiency and influence of being a unique global licensor that provides worldwide distribution.

“With the growth of the Internet over the next 20 years, there will be some amazing entertainment services available globally. We intend to be one of the leaders.”

In the same letter, Hastings vowed to grow Netflix’s spending on original content. It has already created a number of hit shows, including House of Cards and Marco Polo. The company is also set to release its first original feature film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II: The Green Destiny, on 26 August in all of the markets in which it operates.

A company spokesman could not immediately be reached to comment on the international expansion plans.  — (c) 2015 NewsCentral Media


  1. Just watch how quickly multichoice launches an online VoD service after hearing this

  2. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>Hastings says Netflix has learnt a great deal about the content people prefer in different markets.

    …and that wouldn’t have anything to do with the –

    >>use of technical trickery or subscribing to virtual private networking services to gain access as Netflix is not officially available everywhere.

    Anyways – the consumer ultimately stands to benefit the most from all of this which is what actually counts… am really looking forward to the always predictable response/reaction from the guys in Randburg who always place the consumer’s interests first when such threats to their business become imminent.

  3. Anakin Stealthwalker on

    DSTV will run to the govt. to try and get Netflix banned – just to keep the competition out, just as they banned dvd recorders so as to maintain their monopoly with their record-on-pvr only @R65/month.

  4. There are already a couple of new local competitors offering a similar service. Also, as much as I’d like to have Netflix in SA, I have doubts of it happening as SA is still a relatively small market and the infrastructure/bandwidth is too expensive and/or unavailable to many. This would negatively affect Netflix’s return on investment… or at the very least put SA very low on the priority list.

  5. The likes of Multichoice and their government cronies will never let the extortion subside. The South African version of Netflix will be very different and way more expensive than the going rate. Geomasking via a DNS Proxy or VPN is not illegal in itself so I say…give them the middle finger before they even get a chance to “restructure” what is not theirs to control.

  6. Technical trickery? Hardly. It’s as simple as adding an extension to Chrome, and then subscribing to Netflix.

  7. This is an urban legend. DsTV did not get DVD recorders banned. There simply wasn’t a viable market for them in SA, and the technology was clunky to begin with.

  8. Ofentse Letsholo on

    Now ISPs need will be saying ” we are the best when it comes to Netflix”, so this will also help shape up our internet speeds and quality overall as they will be competing.

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