Netflix made the biggest announcement of CES today, rolling out its service to 130 new countries while CEO Reed Hastings was onstage delivering his keynote speech in Las Vegas. The company has been on a tear for the last year, winning a bevy of awards for its original content and adding subscribers at a pace which has sent its share price soaring.
With today's additions Netflix suddenly has billions of potential new customers. Some of this growth will be held back by the cost, which will be roughly at parity with what it costs in the US, as well as lack of access to speedy internet in many of the new territories. But equally important will be figuring out what content works not just in New York and Mexico City, but Seoul and Nairobi.
That's where Sarandos comes in. He is in charge of deciding which shows get made, and securing the deals that allow Netflix to distribute them on a global level. We sat down with Sarandos for a chat on the future of television and Netflix's place in the industry's rapid transformation. He dished dirt on how Netflix decides who to target with its original programming, why the company doesn't bother with pilots before shooting a full season, and how House of Cards became so hugely popular in China, where Netflix has yet to officially launch its service.