Netflix said it will expand its movie and television streaming service into Japan in the fall.
Gregory Peters, the company’s chief streaming and partnerships officer, was named general manager of Netflix Japan to help establish ties with local content creators and consumer electronics companies, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Japan offers an attractive opportunity for Netflix. It has nearly 36 million broadband homes, making it one of the largest markets outside of the United States, the newspaper said. It also has the world’s third-highest average internet connection speed at 15 megabits per second.
“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,” Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings said in a statement.
However, entering the Japanese market is not without its challenges. It has to compete with media giant SoftBank Corp., which launched a streaming service called BBTV Next in the country late last year, the Journal said.
Softbank also invested US$250 million in Legendary Pictures last year and acquired DramaFever Corp., an online distributor of South Korean soap operas and other international shows, the report added.
Netflix said last month it plans to expand in 200 countries by the end of 2016. It is launching in Australia and New Zealand this March.
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