Boob tube binging gets easier as Netflix arrives

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Boob tube binging gets easier as Netflix arrives

Netflix, the American video streaming giant, launched its service in Korea on Thursday with three monthly plans costing $7.99, $9.99 and $11.99.

Korea is one of 130 countries that Netflix entered yesterday, its CEO Reed Hastings announced during a keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Wednesday. The 9-year-old company, which had already expanded into more than 60 countries, said last year that it aimed to complete its global rollout by the end of 2016.

One country that still doesn’t have Netflix is China.

“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,” Hastings said. “With the help of the Internet, we are putting power in consumers’ hands to watch whenever, wherever and on whatever device.”

A one-month free trial service is available for unlimited viewing of movies and TV shows with nearly any Internet-connected screen. Netflix works on smart TVs, personal computers, mobile phones, tablets and Apple TV. The Netflix app is available on both Google Play and the Apple App Store.

The service is not compatible yet with paid cable or Internet Protocol TV platforms linked to mobile carriers such as SK Telecom, KT and LG U+ because the company has yet to forge a partnership with any Korean platform providers.

The Korean debut of the service known for such original TV series as “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black” comes four months after its entry into Japan.

The company is still trying to enter China. Although Hastings did not elaborate on the reasons, tech companies typically face hurdles when it comes to opening in China. Beijing is notorious for imposing strict censorship on foreign content. Netflix is also not available in Crimea, North Korea and Syria due to U.S. government restrictions.

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