Skip to main content

Netflix heads to the Middle East, continuing its quest to take over the world

netflix downloads for offline viewing theaters should stop boycotting
Image used with permission by copyright holder
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.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephanie Topacio Long
Stephanie Topacio Long is a writer and editor whose writing interests range from business to books. She also contributes to…
Netflix reportedly planning its first live sports broadcast
The Netflix logo is displayed on a TV screen while red lights illuminate the wall behind.

Netflix is planning its first sports-based live stream, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Monday.

The streaming giant is in talks to create a celebrity golf tournament featuring professional golfers and Formula 1 drivers, according to people claiming to have knowledge of the matter.

Read more
A Man Called Otto is a hit on Netflix. Here are 3 reasons why it’s so popular
Mariana Treviño shows a drawing to Tom Hanks in A Man Called Otto.

Following its release in theaters at the beginning of the year, A Man Called Otto has finally arrived on Netflix. The film, which is based on a 2015 Swedish movie called A Man Called Ove, follows an aging, cynical widower who finds that his life is opened up after he develops a relationship with his neighbors. Although the movie didn't make an insane amount of money in theaters, A Man Called Otto is doing quite well for itself on the streaming service, ranking consistently high on Netflix's most popular movies of the week list.

Anyone who tells you that they know exactly why a certain movie connects with audiences is lying. In this case, though, there are some factors we can examine which may offer some clues as to why A Man Called Otto has become such an incredible phenomenon since it hit the service a few weeks ago.
1. Tom Hanks's star power
A MAN CALLED OTTO - Official Trailer #2 (HD)

Read more
Arnold Schwarzenegger takes on one last job in trailer for Netflix’s FUBAR
A woman and a man points their guns in a scene from FUBAR.

Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator) has been one of the most influential movie stars of the last 40 years. Now, Schwarzenegger is heading to television to star in his first scripted series, Netflix's FUBAR.

FUBAR is an action comedy series that follows Schwarzenegger's Luke, a retired CIA operative pulled back into the business to extract another operative and dangerous weapon from a secret location. Upon arrival, Luke discovers that his daughter, Emma (Top Gun: Maverick's Monica Barbaro), is also a CIA operative, and that she hid her occupation from her father. Luke must set aside his preconceived notions and team up with his daughter to complete the mission.

Read more