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Netflix has officially launched in Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore. However, Netflix’s plans of cooperating with the leading local telecommunication and cable television companies such as Taiwan Chunghwa Telecom have fallen through, and the Internet streaming media is steering towards soliciting smart TV companies. Jonathan Friedland, chief communications officer of Netflix, had earlier stressed local partners are crucial in leading a new market.

Netflix conducting market research through piracy websites

Piracy, which is often criticized by the industry, has become Netflix’s source of reference. Friedland says when they were conducting market research in various regions they discovered many users downloaded content from BT download forums and pirated content websites such as Pirate Bay. Through analyzing regional preference viewing content on these websites, they learned what shows people liked to watch and were confident they would meet the needs of users when Netflix entered the Taiwan market.

However, Friedland believes that the focus is not what the audience likes, but what they are watching. So actual data regarding viewing behavior still needs to wait until after Netflix officially enters Taiwan.

Special investigative methods have helped Netflix easily grasp market information. People have become accustomed to watching pirated content, but Netflix is confident it will break this habit. It believes that its downloading wait time, steady content updates and legality hold competitiveness over piracy websites through a paying mechanism. Users can also easily use the service on different platforms, and even find content they want to watch through a recommendation mechanism.

Netflix has over 69 million users worldwide

Netflix believes its biggest rival will be the video content on the Internet. It is convinced that all video content will be broadcasted via the Internet in the next 20 years. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings even predicts that Internet television will completely replace cable television radio in 2030, and Netflix’s biggest goal is to change people’s viewing habits.

Photo Credit: Netflix

Photo Credit: Netflix

There are currently more than 69 million Netflix subscribers worldwide and the service has officially launched in Taiwan on January 7, offering registered members a free one-month trial starting now. After the trial ends, users can choose from three kinds of monthly fees, including basic (NT$ 270, approximately US$8), standard (NT$330, approximately US$9.8) and premium (NT$390, approximately US$11.66).

Translated by Olivia Yang