Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings announced during a keynote at CES that the company expanded its service to over 130 countries worldwide, making the streaming platform available virtually worldwide (or at least wherever there’s broadband internet).
It wasn’t just the announcement that was a surprise, but rather the large number of countries added simultaneously — quite a feat by any industry standard. And, the expanded service went live as Hastings delivered the keynote.
Netflix also added Arabic, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese to the 17 languages the platform supports.
“With this launch, consumers around the world — from Singapore to St. Petersburg, from San Francisco to Sao Paulo — will be able to enjoy TV shows and movies simultaneously,” said Hastings.
One major market Netflix wasn’t able to add was China, but the company hopes to further discussions and options for launching there.
Three countries Netflix was not able to expand to include Crimea, North Korea and Syria, because of restrictions on American companies.
In 2016, Netflix plans to release 31 new and returning original series, 30 original kids series, two dozen original feature films and documentaries, and stand-up comedy specials.