Posted by Matt Rosenberg on July 5, 2011 at 10:39 am
According to Dow Jones Newswire, Netflix Inc. will expand its global reach by launching Internet streaming services in 43 countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean later this year. Members in the new region will be able to access Netflix in Spanish, Portuguese or English.
Shares of the company, ticker NFLX, surged this morning up nearly 15 points by 10am. This move represents a growing push into the Latin American countries by companies tied to the film industry. Cinemark, one of the worlds largest theater exhibitors, currently has its operations in 13 Latin American/South American countries including Mexico, Brazil, and Chile. And, it was only a short year ago that movie studio Lionsgate announced that it would team up with Mexican media conglomerate Televisa to launch Pantelion Film, a partnership geared at Hispanic moviegoers in the U.S.. Pantelion is set to release a slate of eight to 10 films a year over the next five years targeted to Latino audiences.
The Latin American push is a very interesting move in the world of entertainment. Global box office sales have even been way up lately. Transformers: Dark of the Moon, though it stunk, found itself cashing in almost $400 million much to the credit of foreign sales. We need not go into details about the success of the Harry Potter’s and Avatar’s of the world. Perhaps this represents the growing middle class abroad, an incredible thing for film companies as markets all over the world will continue to grow.
We in the US are slowly staying away from theaters as we look to cheaper sources of movie going through Netflix. I think if you polled 5 honest studio execs they would all say Netflix is killing their business and they are having major trouble trying to identify a solution. Well, now the international market is picking up as a growing middle class abroad makes its way to theaters. Could it stop before it even starts? What I’m trying to say is that will the Netflix push in Latin America have the same impact as it did on the US. Will the new Netflix services convince Latin Americans to stay home and stream movies to their televisions and computer screens instead of watching the big screen?
Only time will tell.