News Response 4: Global Netflix

Netflix is looking to expand all over the world instead of just appealing, primarily, to the American people, according to CNN.com.  Netflix will be spending a fortune on new original series and movies and will create about 700 productions.  Of those 700 programs, approximately 80 shows will be “foreign-language productions.”  This new attempt to attract foreign viewers gives Netflix an edge over other competition like Hulu.   The company already has some shows and movies in the popular foreign languages such as German and Spanish.  Netflix is taking risks by creating its first Arabic and Danish original series.  Netflix speaks on the fact that Americans seem to be more interested in foreign remakes into American series like “Homeland” or “House of Cards.”  However, with this new expansion into foreign languages, it is clear that people are willing to watch originals with subtitles.

Over winter break, I called my friend weird for watching a Portuguese TV series on Netflix with subtitles.  I could not understand why anyone would want to do that, or how someone could actually be interested in a show that you have to read subtitles in your head in order to follow along.  In fact, it was the first time I had heard of anyone watching a TV show in another language.  I usually had only heard of people watching movies for pleasure in other languages, so this came as a shock to me.

I visited Europe twice and both times I realized how far behind the countries are in terms of cable and Internet.  Many shows on TV that have been finished for years in America are currently being shown for the first time on TV.  I believe that this is a good move on Netflix’s part and think they will excel with they begin to broaden their foreign appeal.