Netflix appoints APAC communications director; expands into 130 new markets

Video streaming giant Netflix has hired the company’s first communications director, Jessica Lee, for the Asia Pacific region.

NetflixLee was previously the chief communications officer at McDonald’s in Greater China. Her appointment follows the company’s recent announcement that it will expand into 130 new countries.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings revealed the appointment last night at CES, in Las Vegas, informing the room: “Today you are witnessing the birth of a new, global internet TV network.”

“With this launch, consumers around the world – from Singapore to St. Petersburg, from San Francisco to Sao Paulo – will be able to enjoy TV shows and movies simultaneously; no more waiting.

“With the help of the internet we are putting power in consumers’ hands, to watch whenever, wherever and on whatever device.”

While Netflix is largely available in English in most new countries, today’s announcement adds Arabic, Korean, and simplified and traditional Chinese characters to the 17 languages the service already supports.

“From today onwards, we will listen and we will learn, gradually adding more languages, more content and more ways for people to engage with Netflix,” said Hastings. “We’re looking forward to bringing great stories from all over the world to people all over the world.”

Despite the streaming service promoting its global audience it is currently not available in China, although it says it is exploring options for providing the service within the Chinese firewall and is also not available in Crimea, North Korea and Syria due to U.S. government restrictions on American companies.

Lee moving over from leading comms for McDonalds to Netflix.

Lee moving over from leading comms for McDonalds to Netflix.

Regarding Lee’s appointment, Netflix said the comms manager it was not clear if she would have oversight of the Australian and New Zealand markets, and the company continues to employ public relations agency Ogilvy, for media inquiries.

Lee will return home to her native Singapore to build the American company’s image as it looks to establish itself in a market that former Mi9 CEO Mark Britt, now head of rival Southeast Asian streaming platform, iflix, described in an interview with Mumbrella Asia in August last year as a “knuckle fight.”

Lee’s appointment spearheads the company’s push to rapidly increase staff ahead of its major push into Asia. As Mumbrella Asia reported yesterday, Netflix is also looking for a regional partner marketing director, social media managers for the region (and for Korea), and an APAC publicity assets manager.

Netflix is also looking for a social media agency for the region, with a pitch thought to be nearing completion.

Netflix launched in Australia last March and is thought to have an estimated 2.7m Australian users, locally. 

Nic Christensen 


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