Netflix ‘South Korea launch coming’

NetflixNetflix’s global roll out will see it launch in South Korea in January 2016, according to a local report.

The Korea Times on Sunday suggests Netflix will formally announce the plan in coming weeks, following the streaming service’s recent debut in Japan.

Netflix is “seeking to form strategic partnerships with Korean mobile carriers and leading terrestrial broadcasters”, according to the report, which noted South Korea’s leading telcos are SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus.

Talks over content licensing agreements are said to well underway, with the technical aspects of the launch relatively simple thanks to South Korea’s advanced broadband infrastructure.

“Netflix’s advance in Korea will be helpful to local carriers to help them set up strategies in content business and also allow Korea’s media content to reach a global audience,” said a Korea Times source speaking anonymously.

“One final thing is that Netflix will compete strongly with broadcasters in the digital environment. If broadcasters fail to catch up with such changes, their existence will be challenged in the coming years.”

Launching in South Korea would give Netflix competition advantage over with Amazon Prime Instant Video, which launched in Japan but is not yet distributed elsewhere in Asia. Netflix is also launching in Japan soon.

Netflix will launch in Spain, Italy and Portugal in the fourth quarter of this year, widening its distribution in Europe as it plans to launch in virtually all major markets around the world. It has already outlined plans to launch in China next year, with an India debut also being heavily tipped to happen soon.