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Netflix Said to Launch in India by 2016, No Official Announcement
The SVOD leader has global aspirations, but is India next on its list? A rumor has local competitors scrambling to fight off the challenger.

Subscription video-on-demand leader Netflix will begin service in India in 2016. That news comes not from Netflix, but from The Times of India, which reported the item yesterday citing "people familiar with the matter."

While Netflix itself hasn't made an announcement regarding India, the move would be no surprise. Netflix has 62 million subscribers around the world, and recently made moves to expand into Japan and China. Earlier this month it announced it would begin service in Portugal, Italy, and Spain this year.

The Times of India asked Netflix about the rumor and was told, "We have said we plan to be nearly global by the end of 2016. We have nothing else to share at this point."

In India, the move is being treated as a significant challenge to local providers. The Times of India compares it to the recent expansion by another sizable U.S. company, Starbucks.

"It's similar to Starbucks entering India. Everybody knew about it but cafe brands were late to react and Starbucks came and stole the show. We don't want to be caught on the wrong foot," the paper quoted an unnamed Tata Sky spokesperson as saying.

Hooq, an SVOD service owned by SingTel, Warner Bros., and Sony Pictures Television, recently began operating in India.

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