Netflix Hopes to Be in Russia Within Two Years

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A Russian launch is expected to come as part of the video-on-demand service’s global rollout.

The online video streaming service Netflix plans to complete its global rollout within two years and hopes that it will include Russia, says Joris Evers, Netflix’ head of communications in Europe.

The statement comes at a time when Western companies cancel or postpone their plans for a Russian launch in light of sanctions slapped against the country over the Ukraine crisis and the country’s slowing economy and nose-diving currency.

Earlier this year, Sweden-based music streaming service Spotify said it was cancelling plans for a Russian debut, which had been roughly scheduled for the first quarter of 2015.

Although Netflix is currently unavailable in Russia, the video service is fairly well known here, and many people actually get access to it using add-ons like Media Hint and other means allowing them to hide their actual location.

No major international video services currently operate in Russia. Two years ago, Amazon was reported to be preparing an online video service for Russia, but there have been no further announcements so far.

Apart from political and economic considerations, one of the reasons deterring them from entering the Russian market is believed to be rampant online piracy. However, over the last two years, amendments to Russia’s copyright law have been made that are expected to help authorities to curb online piracy.

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