-Netflix Wants to Enter 150 Markets over Next Two Years
-Wuaki.TV Plans 10 More European Launches in 2015
-OTT Services Take Off in Asian Markets
Internet TV is coming, and it’s no longer a question of if, but when.
We’re witnessing the transition to broadband-delivered paid-for TV at an accelerating pace, as evidenced by three large announcements we saw this week in the Internet TV space.
Explosion of services for the masses
The adoption of Internet TV services is exploding across the US, Western Europe, Asia and other markets.
Netflix is now an international Internet TV powerhouse. Its Q4 earnings, announced this week, showed surprisingly strong growth in subscription numbers. It now has 54 million subs, and its international sub numbers have increased 67% over the year-ago quarter. It is now acquiring exclusive global content rights for top programming, including its original “Marco Polo” and the highly anticipated AMC series “Better Call Saul.”
Netflix: 54 million subscribers
Netflix is now present in over 50 countries around the world. Netflix said it reached profitability in some of its other international markets, including the Netherlands, in just over a year, setting impressive precedence and fuel for an ambitious expansion plan, which will include launches in New Zealand and Australia this quarter.
Wuaki.TV, the Internet TV service owned by Japan-based Rakuten, will launch in 10 more countries this year. Wuaki.TV, which first launched in Spain in 2012, is now present in the UK, Italy, France and Germany. It has 1.85 million users total, with 400,000 users in the UK.
The company will launch in Austria, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Portugal this year, and plans to launch in Denmark, Norway and Sweden as well.
Global wrestling Internet TV channel World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) announced this week it now has 1 million global subscribers. It reached that milestone in just 11 months, bringing the service to profitability in under a year. The company touted itself as “the fastest-growing digital subscription service,” thanks to its fiercely dedicated fan base.
WWE pulled out of the traditional, linear pay TV business last year, in favor of launching an Internet TV streaming service and amid widespread skepticism that the service could sustain itself exclusively on the Web.
WWE: undiminished popularity
The online channels offers 24/7 live streaming programming and access to a wide library of on-demand matches, including original series, reality shows, documentaries, archive footage and pre- and post-match shows for “Monday Night Raw” and “Friday Night Smackdown” series. The channel costs $9.99 per month, which will give the viewer access to live streams of 12 WWE events, including the popular event “Wrestlemania.”
WWE’s OTT service, priced at $9.99 per month, is available in 170 territories around the world, including the US, UK and Ireland.
WWE said its own research identified its possible subscriber base to be between 2.5 million and 3.8 million globally, which is looking more and more attainable for the niche Internet TV service.
Internet TV services are growing in emerging markets, too. Netflix announced it plans for rapid further expansion to new markets: it wants to enter a mind-boggling 150 new markets over the next two years.
Many of those markets will be emerging markets, a fact which drew skepticism from some analysts, though OTT adoption is growing in those regions, too…
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