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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Can Netflix beat the pirates and government in Indonesia?

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Netflix announced its launch in Indonesia to great fanfare in early 2016. Several concerns arose immediately. its on-demand streaming offerings will appeal to young tech-savvy wealthier Indonesians, but the mass market audience will be much harder to reach.

There are two key concerns. One is that high speed broadband or wireless penetration is still low so high quality streaming content is hard to distribute outside a few urban centres. Secondly widespread film piracy means that free illegal downloads and sub-USD1 retailed pirated DVDs are still the easiest way to access most movies in the archipelago.

Another problem relates to the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology which censors illegal content. They have recently taken a more active approach to the availability of pornography and to a small degree pirated product. They are currently looking at Netflix content to see whether they would consider blocking its URLs.

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