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Netflix expands to Thailand

Screen capture for the Netflix website for Thailand featuring movie viewing on a mobile phone. Inset: Map showing that Netflix now provides movies in most of the countries of the world (Source: Wikipedia).

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Leading provider of movies online finally arrives in Thailand, but Thai language movies, subtitles & support to be added later. Only Thai censorship to be added now.


After long wait, Netflix launches in Thailand, with caveats

Bangkok Post and AP

After years of anticipation, internet streaming video service Netflix on Thursday launched in Thailand as part of a surprise global expansion that saw the US-based content provider flip the switch on 130 new countries overnight.

"You are witnessing the birth of a global TV network," CEO Reed Hastings crowed on stage at the US Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas early today Bangkok time.

The news caught almost everyone off guard because Netflix had previously set a goal of being available in most of the world by the end of this year.

The California company in December ended the year with operations in 60 countries, but not Thailand, where viewers with overseas credit cards and bank accounts have used virtual private network (VPN)  technology to watch Netflix.

Now, Netflix is available in 21 different languages - but not Thai -- and streaming in just about every market the company was aiming for with the notable exception of China.


In Thailand, Netflix is offering a free, no-obligation trial of its service for a month. After that, subscribers can opt for and switch between any of three payment plans.

(Learn more at the Netflix Thailand website here).

Options start with a standard-definition programming package that can be viewed on only one device at a time for 280 baht a month.

The standard package, at 350 baht monthly, offers HD content and simultaneous viewing on two screens.

The 420-baht-per-month plan offers four screens and Ultra-HD content, which requires a 4K television or computer monitor to enjoy.

Netflix is offering three payment plans for Thailand-based viewers. All include a 30-day free trial.


While opening the doors to Thai viewers, Netflix has not added any new Thai-language content beyond the small selection of films it already had. And while the company on Thursday added support for three new languages, Thai was not among them. Neither the website, app or subtitles are available in Thai yet.

The global rollout this week is only the first step in a very long global effort to add localised content and language support to its service.

"Today's launch is like having a baby, but the real work is the next 20 years," the CEO Mr Hastings said. "The real work is to become as popular in Vietnam, Thailand and Brazil as we are in the US."

To do that, Netflix will eventually add Thai-language support and obtain licences for Thai television shows and movies.


Also, while Netflix is now virtually worldwide, not of all its entertainment will be available everywhere.

For instance, access to Walt Disney films right after their release will be limited to the US and Canada as part of a deal negotiated several years ago, but Netflix is hoping to expand those rights into other countries soon.

On the other hand, viewers in Thailand -- even those with a pre-existing account established in the US or UK - will get access to content not available to Netflix users in their home countries, such as movies like The Godfather and television shows (including Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul and the television reboot of 12 Monkeys).


Another significant difference Thailand viewers may not look forward to is the same type of censorship used for movies showing in Thai movie theaters.

Netflix applies special censorship to movies showing in different markets around the world to adhere to local media laws.

Netflix may introduce "clean" versions of films, similar to those shown on airplane flights, to address Thai and other local countries' rules on mature content, violence and respecting cultural sensibilities.

Netflix already sanitises content in Japan, pixelating full-frontal nudity seen, for example, in the Marco Polo series produced by Netflix as well as other content.

In Thailand, the service could follow standard practice at movie theaters (cinemas) by pixelating smoking, drinking and bloody violence, as well as censoring nude scenes.

Entering China will be a formidable challenge requiring potentially prickly negotiations with the Chinese  government that blocks its citizens from seeing viewing material it considers objectionable or incendiary.


Netflix is now in a position to sign up more subscribers this year than analysts had previously anticipated, generating additional revenue that the company can spend on TV series and movies as it bids against rivals such as HBO,, YouTube and Hulu for licensing rights.

Netflix Inc began the year with more than 70 million subscribers and management had already vowed to spend about $5 billion this year licensing video from studios around the world.

Increasingly, Netflix has been buying material that only can be seen on its service, with more than 600 hours of original programming lined up for this year including more than 50 exclusive TV shows and movies, including award-winning series such as House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black.

Netflix has come up with a formula that has proven addictive as its service has transformed the entertainment industry by allowing people to watch video anytime they want on an Internet-connected device such as a mobile phone, TV set, tablet or computer.

[...Netflix subscribers watched 42.5 billion hours of programming last year, including 12 billion hours in the October-December fourth quarter. The fourth-quarter viewership volume represented a nearly 50% increase from 8.25 billion hours the previous year. Put another way, Netflix subscribers are now watching a weekly average of 13 hours of programming, up from 12 hours the previous year.]

Netflix now provides movies over the internet to most of the world (Source: Wikipedia)

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addictive (adj): of something, e.g., especially a drug, a game, an activity like gambling, which you cannot stop once you have started - ซึ่งทำให้ติดได้; ซึ่งทำให้ติดยาได้

adhere to : to obey a rule, law, agreement, etc. - ทำตามกฎหมาย

aim : to have as your purpose or goal - มีเป้าหมาย มีจุดมุ่งหมาย

anticipation : a feeling of excitement about something important or enjoyable that is going to happen soon - การรอคอยอย่างคาดหวัง

application (app) : a program designed to do a particular job; a piece of software - โปรแกรมใช้งาน, โปรแกรมคอมพิวเตอร์

birth (noun): the time when a baby is born; the process of being born - การเกิด

block : to prevent from being seen - ปิดกั้น

caught off guard : to be surprised by something unexpected - ตกตะลึง, งงงันม เผลอ

caveat : warnings about restrictions and limitations -

censor : to remove the parts of a book, film/movie, etc. that are considered to be offensive, immoral or a political threat - ตัดออกด้วยอำนาจของผู้ตรวจสอบ

censorship : removing the parts of a book, film/movie, internet content, etc. that are considered to be offensive, immoral or a political threat - การเซ็นเซอร์, การตรวจสอบสื่อต่างๆ เพื่อตัดส่วนที่ไม่เหมาะสมออก

challenge : something that needs a lot of skill, energy, and determination to deal with or achieve - สิ่งที่ท้าทาย, การท้าทาย

cinema (noun): movie theater, movie house - โรงภาพยนต์

citizen : someone who has the right to live permanently in a particular country - พลเมือง 

come up with : to suggest or think of an idea or plan - คิดขึ้นมา

connected : linked - เชื่อมต่อ เชื่อมโยง

consider : to regard as; to think of as - ถือว่า

content : the subject, ideas, or story that a piece of writing or a radio or television programme deals with - เนื้อหา,สาระ

content providers : companies that make TV shows as a business -

crowed : sang; sang a song with great emotion -

cultural (adj.): related to the customs and beliefs, art, way of life and social organization of a particular country or group - วัฒนธรรม

deal (noun): a formal agreement, especially in business or politics - ข้อตกลง, การตกลงซื้อขาย, การซื้อขาย

definition : resolution; the amount of detail that you can see on a television or computer screen - ความละเอียดของภาพ, จำนวนจุดหรือพิกเซลบนจอภาพ

device (noun): a machine or piece of equipment that does a particular job - อุปกรณ์ เครื่องมือ เครื่องจักร

difference : the way in which two things are not the same - ความแตกต่าง

effort : an attempt to do something - ความพยายาม

exception (noun): something that is different in some way from other things and so cannot be included in a general statement ("without exception", means complete agreement with no one disagreeing) - ข้อยกเว้น

exclusive (adj): limited to a particular person, group or thing and not shared with others - แต่ผู้เดียว

expand : to make or become larger - ขยาย

expansion : when something increases in size, number or importance - การขยายออก

flip the switch : turn on; start service -

formidable : impressive or powerful - พิชิตยาก น่าเกรงขาม

formula : a list of the things that something is made from, giving the amount of each substance to use - สูตร

full frontal-nudity : when a person has no clothes on and you can see everything: breast, penis, etc. -

global : throughout the world - ทั่วโลก

HD : high definition; a very clear, high quality picture -

incendiary : likely to cause anger or violence - ซึ่งเป็นการก่อความไม่สงบ

launch : an event held to announce or start selling a new product or service to the public - การเริ่มปฏิบัติการ, การออกตัวของสินค้า, การเริ่มวางขาย

licence : an official document that gives someone permission to do or use something - ใบอนุญาต

license (verb): to obtain an official document that gives someone permission to do or use something - ได้รับใบอนุญาต

line up : arranged; prepared -

local : in the country being discussed -

localise : to make a local version of some kind of media, such as a magazine or TV program -

look forward to : to feel pleased and excited about something that is going to happen - ตั้งหน้ารอคอย

mature content : adult content; not for children under 18 -

media : radio, television, newspaper, the Internet, considered as a group - สื่อ

monitor : a television screen used to show particular kinds of information; a screen that shows information from a computer - เครื่องโทรทัศน์วงจรปิด, จอคอมพิวเตอร์

negotiate : to try to reach an agreement by discussing something in a formal way - เจรจาต่อรอง

negotiations : formal discussion in which people or groups try to reach an agreement - การเจรจาต่อรอง

network : telecommunications network, a telephone or cable TV network -

notable (adj): someone/something important and worth knowing about; noteworthy - ซึ่งมีชื่อเสียงโดดเด่น, ซึ่งมีความสามารถ

nude : not wearing any clothes - เปลือยกาย

nudity : the condition of not wearing clothes, or of not covering a part of the body that is traditionally covered when you are in public - การเปลือยกาย

objectionable : something that someone thinks is not right or appropriate; innappropriate -

obligation : something which you must do because you have promised, because of a law, etc. - สัญญาผูกมัด, ข้อผูกมัด

offer (verb): to make something available or to provide the opportunity for something - ให้, เสนอ

operations : the activity or work done in an area of business or industry - ปฎิบัติการ

opt : to make a choice or a decision from a range of possibilities - เลือก

overnight : suddenly or quickly, e.g., in one night - ในเวลาอันสั้น, ข้ามคืน,อย่างรวดเร็ว

overseas : connected with foreign countries, especially those separated from your country by the sea or ocean - เกี่ยวกับต่างประเทศ, ข้ามทะเล

package : many goods or services sold together in one "package" -

pixelating : covering something in a video or movie such as a breast or drugs so that children cannot see it -

potentially : possibly - เป็นไปได้

practice : a way of doing something - การปฏิบัติ

pre- : before -

pre-existing (adj): existing (present) from an earlier time - ที่เป็นอยู่ก่อน

prickly : difficult and painful -

programming : the TV shows and programs shown on a TV channel -

respect : to accept the importance of someone's rights or customs -

revenue : income from taxes or business activities - รายได้

right : a moral or legal claim to have or get something or to behave in a particular way - สิทธิ

rights : the legal right to control the production and selling of a book, play, film, photograph, piece of music, performance, etc. - ลิขสิทธิ์

rival : a person, group, team or business that competes with another - คู่ต่อสู้, คู่ปรับ, คู่แข่ง

rollout (noun): an occasion when a company introduces or starts to use a new product - การนำ(สินค้า ฯลฯ) ออกส่สายตาประชาชนเป็นครั้งแรก

sanitise (verb): to clean something thoroughly using chemicals to remove bacteria - ทำให้ปราศจากเชื้อโรค

scene : a part of a film/movie, play or book in which the action happens in one place or is of one particular type - ฉาก, ตอน

selection : a number of people or things that have been chosen from a larger group - ผู้ที่ได้รับการคัดเลือก, สิ่งที่ถูกเลือก

sensibilities : the way that people feel about something -

series : TV series; a TV program with many episodes that continues each week with a story for a whole season. -

significant : important - สำคัญ

similar : like somebody/something but not exactly the same - คล้ายกัน

simultaneous : happening at the same time - ในเวลาเดียวกัน,ที่พร้อมกัน

stage (noun): a raised area, usually in a theatre, etc. where actors, dancers, speakers etc. perform - เวที

standard : average or normal rather than having special or unusual features - ซึ่งเป็นมาตรฐาน

streaming : playing a video continuously from the start rather than needing to wait until the whole of the material has been downloaded -

subscriber : someone who pays money to an organization in order to receive a product, use a service regularly or support the organisation - ผู้ใช้บริการ

subtitle : a translation of what people are saying in a foreign language film or television programme, that appears at the bottom of the screen - คำแปลที่เขียนไว้ข้างล่างในภาพยนตร์

trial : a test, usually over a limited period of time, to discover how effective or suitable something or someone is - การทดลอง, การทดสอบ

ultra- : extremely - ที่สุด

version : a particular form of something which varies slightly from other forms of the same thing - ชุด, เวอร์ชั่น

viewer : a person who watches TV -

violence : physical force with the deliberate intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people - ความรุนแรง, การใช้กำลังทำลาย

virtually : almost - เกือบจะ

vow : to make a formal and serious promise to do something or to promise what you say is true - สาบาน, ปฏิญาณ

witness (verb): to see something happen - มองเห็น, เป็นพยาน


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