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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Netflix launch to increase ‘binge watching’ options

Yesterday, Netflix, the world’s largest internet TV network, launched its online streaming service in Cambodia. NETFLIX
Yesterday, Netflix, the world’s largest internet TV network, launched its online streaming service in Cambodia. NETFLIX

Netflix launch to increase ‘binge watching’ options

Popular internet television network Netflix launched in Cambodia yesterday as part of a global rollout across 130 new markets, with Cambodians now being able to access the network’s original programming and other shows and movies.

The launch, which was reported by the Post in October, was announced by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings at electronic and technology tradeshow CES 2015 who said the company was using the internet to increase access to television content across the world.

“With this launch, consumers around the world – from Singapore to St Petersburg, from San Francisco to Sao Paulo – will be able to enjoy TV shows and movies simultaneously – no more waiting,” Hastings said in his keynote address at CES 2015.

A company spokesperson, who spoke to the Post, said Cambodians will now be able to subscribe to the service and have access to Netflix’s popular shows, like House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black.

The spokesperson said pricing in Cambodia is similar to that seen in other countries, with subscribers able to choose from three different plans – Basic, Standard and Premium – ranging from $7.99 to $11.99.

“To encourage consumers to try the service, Netflix offers a free, one-month trial to new members,” the spokesperson said. “At the end of the month, you can choose to continue or cancel.”

While the amount of local content available is still limited, Netflix said they will adapt the content offering as “the service grows in popularity and we better understand what our members want to watch in each region”.

Anthony Galliano, CEO of local social media marketing firm Dynamo Digital, said Netflix would appeal to Cambodian subscribers, given the Kingdom’s appetite for entertaining, new and trendy content.

He added that high internet speeds, a key for any streaming service, would be extremely challenging for Cambodians using their mobile devices to access their service, but could spur higher speeds in the market.

“Market entry of internet streaming media providers, such as Netflix, is a catalyst for acceleration of universal 4G market capacity, as the consumer’s appetite for high-speed internet is increasingly insatiable.”

The easy availability of pirated DVDs in Cambodia, he said, would not pose a threat to Netflix, but other online sources of content could.

“Netflix always claims illegal downloading helps to create demand, as users switch to legal services for an improved user experience,” Galliano said.

“The challenge for Netflix is to convert internet users from YouTube and torrents, both of which are free and have massive libraries of content available.”

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