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Netflix will order original shows from Africa in 2019

Its push for local programming will soon include most major continents.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
December 2, 2018
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AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Netflix has filmed originals in Africa, but it hasn't really commissioned originals from Africa. That's about to change, the company's Erik Barmack revealed at a conference this week. He promised that Netflix would "definitely" order some shows from Africa in 2019. He didn't hint at what might be coming in the pipeline, but the service was already "looking at opportunities" in the expansive continent.

To date, Netflix's international efforts have focused on Asia, Europe and Latin America, and it has only recently started to address large demographics in some parts of the world. Arabic speakers, for instance, will finally get a native-language production in the form of Jinn. Expansions like this could be vital to not only making Netflix a truly global service, but to serving countries where there are few streaming options.

The worldwide push could also change Netflix's overall demographic. Barmack predicted that half of the top 10 popular shows will eventually come from outside of the US, and that this transition could happen within "years, not decades." To put it another way, Netflix might not be quite so America-centric as it is now.

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