September 10, 2015 10:23
Popular U.S. video-streaming provider Netflix will be available in Korea early next year.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in a statement on Wednesday said Korea, which boasts "high-speed Internet infrastructure and a high level of contents consumption," is an essential strategic base in the company's global expansion.
Netflix owns around 2,000 TV programs and around 9,000 movies and boasts 65 million paid customers in 50 countries. The launch in Korea is expected to bring major changes to the country's cable and IPTV markets.
For US$7.99 a month, customers in the U.S. gain access to Netflix's vast library on their TVs as well as smartphones and computers.
Netflix has grown in popularity by producing its own movies and TV shows like global hit "House of Cards" and offering them online without going through conventional channels.
Some 36 percent of American households use Netflix. The company generated $5.5 billion in sales last year and achieved a net profit of $226 million. Netflix will also be launched in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan next year. Last month, it tied up with Softbank to offer its services in Japan.
Netflix is looking for partners in Korea and apparently held discussions with KT, SK Broadband, LG Uplus and CJ HelloVision.
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