Streaming video service Netflix is looking to launch in China reports Bloomberg Business.
The Chinese joint venture to be run with Wasu, a company backed by Alibaba founder Jack Ma, looks to increase Netflix’s global footprint.
Netflix plans “to be nearly global by the end of 2016,” the article quotes a company spokesperson answering questions about a possible China partnership.
The Netflix model is a major departure from the established broadcast television and movie business where studios and producers would enter distribution agreements with local TV stations and theatre chains.
With Netflix and the streaming model, the licensing of rights to local outlets becomes largely irrelevant with the producers – which increasingly includes Netflix itself – able to cut out the local licensees.
A similar thing is happening in sports, one of the mainstays of broadcast television, where the professional leagues are taking control of their own content and leaving the networks, at best, minor players.
Neflix’s move is part of a shift that’s affecting many industries, including those like broadcast television that thought they were untouchable.