October 16, 2017
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Asia -- A Hard Nut to Crack for Netflix

Since Netflix went worldwide earlier this year, markets across Asia have been tough to crack

(Reuters)

It's in almost every country in the world... But the global Netflix rollout is hitting some bumps in Asia.  Licensing deals mean no House of Cards season four in Hong Kong,  Episodes of Better Call Saul went missing over ratings in South Korea and Indonesia's straight up blocked the site until it sets up an office and pay taxes.

That's just the beginning and for all the trouble new users aren't adding up..

Reuters Tony Munroe in Seoul says entering Asia was always going to be tough. He said, "There are a lot of local competitors already. Their content library in most countries is not nearly as extensive as it is on the U.S. Netflix site. In places like Japan and South Korea, there's not very much local content, and these are places where viewers tend to prefer local content, and finally Netflix is not yet in China." Local language shows are a big blind spot for Netflix in Asia. But even in countries where people speak English, success isn't a given.

He added, "In Australia, which is of course, an English language market-they got off to an explosive start and signed up millions of people. Growth has slowed quite a bit after that initial big boom for them. Other places such as India which is of course a very large English-speaking market, that's also a very promising market-though there's a bit of an issue with the cost, affordability .. I think people expect it to be a mixed bag with how they fare across the continent."

Netflix went international as new users slowed to a trickle back in the U.S. It needs more cash to bankroll its own shows and that means users are going to have to shell out more.  The company plans to raise rates for nearly half its U.S. subscribers starting next month.