There are millions upon millions of people who use Netflix on a daily basis, often paying more attention to TV shows and movies than many other daily activities. But it is admittedly a habit that is limited to the parts of the world where Netflix has already been established, and there are still many areas where binge-watching isn’t available. That’s all getting set to change, as Netflix is looking to reach the Middle East and beyond at some point in 2016.
Here’s what Netflix employee Joris Evers had to say in a message to IGN.
We plan to complete our global expansion by the end of 2016. Of course the Middle East is part of that, hence our hiring.
The hiring talked about there is in reference to recent postings on Netflix’s jobs website, which show that they’re looking for a Social Media Manager for Middle East, a Marketing Planning and Analysis Manager and a Senior Manager, with the latter two being dedicated to the Europe, Middle East and Africa. It doesn’t take Sherlock – which, incidentally, is currently available for streaming – to figure out that this meant the constantly expanding company is planning on making a move to the area.
There apparently isn’t much going on by way of streaming entertainment in the Middle East, which is undoubtedly one of the reasons why Netflix is interested in setting up shop there. The area is only privy to Starz’s streaming service and the streaming platform Icflix, so subscribers are probably itching for something new to bring them their favorite programming. And Netflix is going to presumably be there before any of its biggest U.S. competitors like Hulu or Amazon, which really isn’t all that surprising, since the company has made it clear it wants to dominate everything everywhere.
I’m interested to know what kinds of entertainment would do better in the Middle East, and whether subscribers there will be more interested in getting original series like Daredevil and House of Cards, or if they’ll be more invested in having movie libraries at arm’s reach. It’s possible that rights issues would limit just how many Netflix originals would be available, especially when the service launches, but certainly time (and money) will get that straight.
While this is obviously great news for people in the Middle East, I’m interested here in the U.S. to see if this expansion will eventually get Netflix to develop some upcoming series that are centered in the region and tell stories that we don’t get in this country too often. With series like Narcos, Club de Cuervos and Marseille, among others, Netflix has proven it’s capable of going international for its programming. Here’s hoping they continue expanding their storytelling horizons along with their business horizons.