NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 7 – When I interviewed US President Barack Obama back in July last year, I was taken aback when he asked me if Kenyans watch House of Cards on Netflix in Kenya. “I guess Netflix is everywhere now?” he posed.
Well, President Obama, now I can confidently announce that yes, Netflix really is everywhere, well, now available in Kenya anyway.
On Wednesday Netflix CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings announced, at the Consumer Electronics Electronics Show in Las Vegas, that they had expanded global reach to 190 countries by entering 130 new markets including Kenya – three short of matching the United Nations member states.
“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 — no more waiting.
“While you have been listening to me talk, the Netflix service has gone live in nearly every country in the world except China, where we hope to be in the future.”
The news was greeted with the usual fun and games by Kenyans on Twitter with @GrantBrooke for example joking that, “Netflix will really need to up their number of Mexican soap operas to get traction in Kenya.”
Netflix will really need to up their number of mexican soap operas to get traction in Kenya.
— Grant (@GrantBrooke) January 7, 2016
Others such as @XtianDela saw the opportunity for home internet providers such as Safaricom who launched their Big Box to capitalise on the ‘digital migration’ and give Kenyans the option to stream videos on demand by including wi-fi.
How Safaricom’s Data team is looking at the DSTV vs NETFLIX debate right now 😂😂😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/O1qJ9S3pON
— Follow IG:@XtianDela (@xtiandela) January 7, 2016
You can subscribe to Netflix, the producers of the popular TV series like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and most recently Narcos, for Sh817 upwards.
The content providers have however made clear that while they hope to standardise the programming available to its subscribers worldwide, that may not be the case just yet due to local licensing deals.
Others in the same field include Amazon and Hulu who Netflix has beaten to the punch with their #NetflixEverywhere launch.
In conclusion President Obama, looks like Kenya just like Netflix which originally started with DVDs, is now firmly in the digital age.
And should your Italian counterpart Matteo Renzi make a return visit to Kenya, well he won’t miss out on the latest episode of House of Cards either.