NETFLIX decides to go local in Turkey
REUTERS photoNetflix shares plunged on July 18 after its latest quarterly update showed subscriber growth below expectations, as the streaming television giant prepares to localize its service in Turkey, along with Poland.
“Now that we are six months in, we will localize Netflix in Poland and Turkey with the addition of local language in the user interface, subtitles and dubbing. Localization in other markets will take place over time as economically prudent,” the company said in a statement.
It said its march to becoming a global television provider was making progress, projecting gains of some two million subscribers outside the U.S. in the third quarter.
“Our approach in expanding our global footprint in January was to launch a service targeting early adopters and then to listen, learn and iterate quickly,” it said.
The streaming television pioneer in January significantly expanded its global footprint to 190 countries, making its Internet TV service available in 130 new markets, including India - but not China.
Netflix shares tumbled 15 percent in after-hours trade after the quarterly report.
The company said it ended the second quarter with 83 million subscribers, adding 1.7 million. That was well below Netflix’s own forecast of 2.5 million additions and lower than many analyst forecasts.
Netflix said growth was hurt, especially in the United States, when it raised rates on many long-time subscribers who had been “grandfathered” when it hiked most prices.
“We think some members perceived the news as an impending new price increase rather than the completion of two years of grandfathering,” the company said in a statement.
“Churn of members who were actually ungrandfathered is modest and conforms to our expectations.”
Net profit for the quarter was $41 million, up from $26 million a year earlier. Revenue rose to $2.1 billion from $1.6 billion.
Meanwhile, Netflix said on July 18 it would beam the new series of cult sci-fi franchise “Star Trek” to 188 countries across the world, excluding the United States and Canada.
Each episode of the new series will be available globally within 24 hours of its premiere on the paid subscription service of the U.S. network CBS.
“’Star Trek’ is one of the most iconic shows in television history and we’re thrilled to partner with CBS to bring the beloved series to Trekkies around the world,” Sean Carey, vice president of global television at California-based Netflix, said in a statement.
Netflix announced, however, that its U.S. and Canadian services would not be part of the exclusive premiere deal with CBS Studios International.
The new “Star Trek,” which begins filming in Toronto in September ahead of a premiere planned for January next year, will be the franchise’s first new outing in more than a decade, featuring a new spaceship and new characters.
As part of the agreement, all 727 episodes of the “Star Trek” back catalog, including the original series and spin-offs like “The Next Generation” and “Deep Space Nine,” will be available on Netflix worldwide by the end of this year.