“You are witnessing the birth of a global TV network,” CEO Reed Hastings crowed on stage at the
US Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week.
The news caught almost everyone off guard because Netflix had previously set a goal of being available in most of the world by the end of this year. It looked like the California company had plenty of work ahead of it because it ended December in 60 countries, but not Thailand, where viewers with overseas credit cards and bank accounts have had to use virtual private network technology (VPN) to watch the tens of thousands of television shows and movies available through them.
Now, Netflix is available in 21 different languages – but not Thai – and streaming in just about every market that it had in its sights, with the notable exception of China.
In Thailand, Netflix is offering a free, no-obligation trial of its service for a month. After that,
subscribers can opt and switch between any of three payment plans.
Options start with a standarddefinition programming package that can be viewed on only one device at a time for B280 a month. The standard package, at B350 monthly, offers HD content and simultaneous viewing on two screens. Its 420-baht-per-month plan offers four screens and UltraHD content, which requires a 4K television or computer monitor to enjoy.
While opening the doors to Thai viewers, Netflix has not added any new Thai-language content
beyond the small selection of films it already had. And while the company added support for three new languages, Thai was not among them. Neither the website, app or subtitles are available in Thai.
In his presentation, Mr Hastings said the global roll out is only the first step in very long global
effort to add localised content and language support to its service.
“[The] launch is like having a baby, but the real work is the next 20 years,” Mr Hastings said. “The
real work is to become as popular in Vietnam, Thailand and Brazil as we are in the US.”
To do that, Netflix will eventually add Thai-language support and obtain licences for Thai television shows and movies.
A significant difference Thailand viewers may not look forward to is the same type censorship used in cinemas here and employed by Netflix in other markets to adhere to local media laws.
See original story here.