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Netflix likely to charge US$8 per month for Internet TV service in Singapore




Ahead of its Singapore launch early next year, popular TV and movie streaming website Netflix is in talks with telecommunication companies (telcos) here to discuss ways to cooperate, and has also confirmed that it will likely set a pricing of US$8 (S$11) per month for local consumers.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday (Oct 27), Netflix chief communications officer Jonathan Friedland noted that this price point is the same as what it is currently charging in the United States. “In the US, we are cheaper than (American premium cable and satellite television net-work) HBO. So, we are likely to keep this price going,” he said.

On the content that is going to be available to Singapore consumers, Mr Friedland said that all exclusive content produced by Netflix will be available in Singapore, while other non-exclusive TV shows and movies will depend on licensing issues in Singapore. Exclusive Netflix content include Daredevil, and crime drama series Narcos.

“We are also going to have a much bigger selection of Korean, Mandarin and Cantonese drama in this part of the world. We have to learn what people really want, and curate the selection. We’re trying to have different things for different people, and create a really rich portfolio of content,” he said.

Netflix will also open an office in Singapore in the coming months and make it the hub for its expanding operations in Asia.

Today, Mr Friedland said the office here will need to fill positions in network engi-neering, business development, marketing and public relations. But, it is likely to be a small team, with most of its employees still based in California. He is optimistic about the market in Singapore, noting: “The population here is wealthy, Internet savvy, with nearly 60 per cent of households subscribing to Pay TV.”

While Mr Friedland could not give target numbers for the number of subscribers the service hopes to draw, he said that on average, it takes seven years to get one-third of households that are connected to broadband Internet, to subscribe.

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