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The Wrap: Inside Netflix’s Plan to Crush Apple Globally

By Daniel Holloway, The Wrap

Analyst tells TheWrap of the streaming service’s Japan launch, “It’s only going to push Apple in terms of having to go toward the same types of deals around the world”

Netflix launched in its 81st country Wednesday, and it’s a big one. Via a partnership with Softbank announced last week, the media streaming service debuted in Japan. The expansion introduces Netflix to an untapped potential audience of nearly 36 million broadband customers.

Netflix’s Japan push is part of an effort to strangle the company’s would-be biggest competitor in its crib.

The Japan move is “absolutely necessary to protect the future of Netflix’s scale, but also against whatever is coming from Apple,” Brian Solis, principal analyst at Altimeter Group told TheWrap. “It’s actually a bigger deal than it’s getting credit for, because it’s going to be a very lucrative market, and it’s only going to push Apple in terms of having to go toward the same types of deals around the world.”

Apple has been developing a streaming service, one that would include a slimmed-down version of the traditional cable-television bundle. The company was also reported this week to have been in very early talks with film and TV production companies about creating its own original content.

In the U.S., Netflix’s principal competition at the moment comes from Hulu and Amazon, as well as legacy cable brands HBO and Showtime that have launched their own streaming services in recent months.

They are also a way for the company to differentiate itself from the looming threat that Apple presents. Solis calls it “inevitable” for Apple to move into the streaming space.

“The content business isn’t just a domestic product,” Solis said. “It’s a global experience. For a company like Netflix to scale globally, it’s protecting itself from any types of local or emerging global competitors.”

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