Netflix switched on its video streaming services in 130 new countries today including most, if not all of Africa, meaning it’s now available just about everywhere on Earth as part of a plan to be a global TV network in 2016, NewYorkTimes reported.
That brings Netflix’s global footprint to more than 190 countries with 130 new countries added today. China is the only major holdout, said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings during a keynote address at the International CES consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, USAToday reported. “We are continuing to work on that, and we are very patient,” Hastings said.
The company has 65 million streaming customers worldwide.
These are the African countries where Netflix is available:
Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, CAR, Chad, Cormoros, DRC, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Réunion, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The subscription video-on-demand provider entered the Asian market with a launch in Japan in September, and another in Italy in October.
While its expansion to Africa is a welcome development, the U.S.-based company could face challenges on the continent due to the high cost of Internet mobile data and lack of quality broadband infrastructure, VenturesAfrica reported.
Africans are already fans of most Netflix content, particularly its original series and programs. The world’s leading Internet TV service provider could oust South African pay-TV company Multichoice, which offers Naspers-owned digital satellite TV service, DSTV, across Africa, according to VenturesAfrica. Users constantly complain about the company’s fees.
However, Netflix, like DSTV, will be providing services targeted mainly at viewers who can afford streaming services.
The South African Netflix website on Wednesday advertised prices starting at US$7.99 (126 rand) per month for a single screen, TechCentral reported.
In October, Variety reported that Netflix was raising the price of its most popular plan, which offers access to two HD streams concurrently, from $8.99 to $9.99 per month for new subscribers in the U.S.
Popular U.S. TV shows that South Africans can watch on Netflix include hits such as “Suits,” “Dexter” and “Weeds.” Original Netflix content like “Narcos” and “Marco Polo” are also available in South Africa.
However Netflix may begin streaming more African content, VenturesAfrica reported. On Oct. 1 they featured a film by Nigerian film maker, Kunle Afolayan.
“Today’s launch is like having a baby, but the real work is the next 20 years,” Hastings said, according to USAToday. “The real work is to become as popular in Vietnam, Thailand and Brazil as we are in the U.S.”
On Wednesday, Netflix shares rose about 6 percent in midday trading and its market capitalization was about $47 billion — about two times that of TV group CBS, NewYorkTimes reported.