Netflix sets launch date for Japan, gets social media ball rolling

Keeping in line with comments made by CFO David Wells during its second-quarter earnings report, Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) is moving ahead with its planned launch in Japan. The SVOD provider will debut there on Sept. 2, VentureBeat reports.

NetflixJP Netofuri

Netflix's Japan Twitter account posted the official launch date. The hashtag translates as "Netofuri."

"Finally September 2 , service starts in Japan !" the company announced on its newly launched @NetflixJP Twitter account. The message also noted that registration for the service will be available "at any time, from anywhere" on any device.

Netflix's social media campaign for the upcoming service went into full swing as well. In addition to the Twitter account, a Netflix Japan page is available on Facebook, and the company launched its website.

Japan is Netflix's most significant, and risky launch since last year, when it rolled out across Europe. It faced some interesting competitive and cultural challenges in the European market -- OTT video was pretty well established on the continent, and Netflix worked to attract new subscribers by featuring locally produced content and partnering with pay-TV and telecom operators in particularly prickly markets like France.

In Japan, the company expects a slow uptake of its services. "Japan is a unique market because it's very brand sensitive," Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said on a second-quarter investor call in mid-July. However, he said that Japanese consumers are very brand loyal as well -- once they do take to the service, Netflix expects them to stay.

Netflix also plans to expand its European presence in the fourth quarter, launching in Spain and Italy, the company said on its earnings call.

For more:
- VentureBeat has this article

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