Netflix Set to Expand Into the Middle East

Netflix, the paid-for streaming platform behind such popular TV shows as Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, is hiring new staff to help launch the service in the Middle East next year.

The California-based media giant recently placed advertisements on its website for several marketing positions for the Middle East. “We plan to complete our global expansion by the end of 2016. Of course the Middle East is part of that, hence our hiring,” Joris Evers, Netflix’s head of communications for EMEA, told the technology website IGN Middle East last month.

There is currently no word from the company as to where in the region Netflix will choose to offer its services, though there will be hopes that the expansion will be comprehensive and include Jordan.

Netflix has more than 69 million subscribers in more than 50 countries, and expects to exceed 100 million subscribers by 2018, according to research firm IHS Technology. Founded in 1997, the company is currently estimated to be worth almost $33 billion.

Other online streaming services similar to Netflix are already available in the region. These include Starz Play, a Colorado-based entertainment company that offers streaming services in 17 countries, and Dubai-based Icflix, a regionally-dedicated service offering content in English, French, and Arabic.

The Manaseer Group has also moved into the sector. Its subsidiary Manaseer Information Technology has joined forces with set-top box maker Humax to offer viewers access to a wide range of channels and streaming services.