SEOUL, Jan.8 (Korea Bizwire) – Netflix, the largest video streaming service platform in the world, launched its service in Korea on January 7. Some are questioning whether the platform can achieve as great success as in the American market.
Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix, announced that Netflix would expand its service to 130 countries including Korea at CES 2016, which is being held in Las Vegas.
Netflix has actually started to accept subscription requests on its Korean homepage (https://www.netflix.com/kr/). Users can also access the service on mobile by downloading the application from Google Play.
Three different types of plans are available, coming in at $7.99 (basic), $9.99 (standard) and $11.99 (premium) per month. The image quality and number of users that can access the service at the same time differ for each plan.
Netflix will be providing its services for free until February 7. A feature that suggests movies or shows to suit the user’s taste based on their previous selections of videos has already started.
However, in contrast with analysts’ predictions, which assumed that Netflix would enter the Korean market by collaborating with domestic IPTV businesses, the company set off as a subscription service. This choice was the result of a breakdown in negotiations, as Netflix demanded profit sharing conditions that were unfavorable to local providers.
A telecom official commented that though becoming partners with Netflix would increase competitiveness, the 9:1 profit share they asked for was not negotiable.
Despite the brand value and competitive services, Netflix is facing a lack of content.
Netflix divides its content into 12 categories such as ‘documentary’, ‘drama’, ‘SF fantasy’ and so on. However, the service lacks recent content to provide to subscribers, such as only offering 16 Korean movies which were screened a long time ago.
Industry watchers comment that since there is already plenty of content available for existing paid TV platforms, Netflix should either meet a good partner or find a way to secure attractive content in order to succeed in the Korean market.
By Francine Jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)