Netflix goes to Cuba

DetailsJuan Fernandez Gonzalez | 10 February 2015

Subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) platform Netflix is extending its presence in Latin America and the Caribbean by launching in Cuba, although the service is targeted to more the more wealthy residents and tourists than to the average Cuban, as neither Internet access nor credit cards are widely available throughout the island.

From yesterday (9 February), Cubans with Internet connections and access to international payment methods can subscribe to Netflix and watch a selection of popular movies and TV shows, which have conquered the rest of Latin America.

But the market conditions aren't ideal for the expansion, as there are only around 90 computers for every 1,000 Cubans and just 26% of population has access to the Internet (one hour connection cost over $4).

Among the premium content available are the Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning series House of Cards and Orange is the New Black; the adventure Marco Polo; kids' shows including DreamWorks Animation's All Hail King Julien and The Adventures of Puss in Boots; and original documentaries including Virunga and The Square.

"We are delighted to finally be able to offer Netflix to the people of Cuba, connecting them with stories they will love from all over the world," said Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings. "Cuba has great filmmakers and a robust arts culture, and one day we hope to be able to bring their work to our global audience of over 57 million members."

Through this movement, Netflix is using the new business window opened by the recently signed agreement between Cuba and the US, which re-established the diplomatic relations between the countries and signalled the end of the 50-years embargo.