Netflix Japan launch confirmed

Marco Polo3Netflix is to launching in Japan later this year, as the streamer’s global expansion strategy gathers pace.

Japanese consumers will be able to subscribe to the SVOD platform from the autumn in HD and 4K on certain platforms.

At launch Netflix Japan will include the upcoming Marvel superhero series Daredevil (new trailer below), The Wachowski’s Sense8 and Marco Polo (pictured). It will also offer a “strong selection” of Japanese TV series and films.

The launch is part of a global expansion plan that should see Netflix in 200 territories internationally by the end of 2016. The firm, which is currently in almost 50 territories, next launches in Australia and New Zealand in March.

Netflix estimated Japan has around 36 million broadband connected homes. The company has installed its chief streaming and partnerships officer Gregory K. Peters, a Japanese speaker, as general manager of Netflix Japan.

“It is an honour to bring Netflix to Japan, and we’ll work hard to please consumers there,” said Peters. “People in Japan soon will have access to great entertainment from all over the world for a low monthly price, while our more than 57 million members will benefit from increased access to great Japanese films and TV shows.”

“With its rich culture and celebrated creative traditions, Japan is a critical component of our plan to connect people around the world to stories they love,” added Reed Hastings, chief executive officer at Netflix.

Netflix rival Hulu last year sold its Japanese streaming business to local broadcaster Nippon TV, a move that marked its withdrawal from the international market.

Territories such as Spain and South Africa have been touted in the recent weeks as those Netflix will soon seek to launch in. It already has distribution in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg, Belgium, Latin America and the Caribbean.

In related news, Netflix is screening new originals such as Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul and family drama Bloodline, which are both from Sony Pictures Television; RadicalMedia coproduced doc What Happened, Miss Simone?; and culinary-themed docu-series Chef’s Table.