Netflix’s roster of countries where it operates seems to be forever growing. The streaming service has confirmed that it aims to expand into the Middle East by the end of 2016, reports Variety. The company has already posted ads for open job positions in the region.
Netflix isn’t the first streaming service to eye the Middle East. When Starz launched its first subscription service outside of the U.S., it elected to start with the Middle East and North Africa. Since April, Starz Play Arabia OTT has been available in 17 territories in the region. In addition to Starz Play, IcFlix would be Netflix’s main competition, but other regional rivals include Telly and OSN Play.
Netflix is technically available in certain areas in the Middle East, such as the United Arab Emirates, but users have to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). The upcoming expansion will tap into a population estimated to be around 370 million and continue the company’s apparent quest for world streaming domination. Efforts have been ramping up recently, with the service launching in Japan, Spain, Portugal, and Italy within the past two months.
Already operating in more than 50 countries, Netflix plans to be in 200 by 2017. In addition to territories in the Middle East, many more are in the streamer’s sights. The service also reportedly plans to expand into India, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan in 2016. By the end of the following year, Netflix aims to have 100 million members. The company is currently sitting at around 69 million subscribers, with the U.S. accounting for about 43 million of them.
Looking at a map, the countries in which Netflix is currently available make up a substantial percentage of the globe. At the rate the streaming service seems to be going, it won’t be all that many years before almost every country is covered.