July 5, 2011, 4:52 PM

Netflix expands internationally

The online movie subscription service will expand to 43 countries.

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Netflix Inc. intends to blanket the Western Hemisphere with its online video subscription service. The e-retailer announced today that it will make its video streaming service available to consumers in 43 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean later this year.

Nearly 113 million Latin American consumers aged 15 and older accessed the Internet in January, up 15% from the same month a year ago, according to web measurement firm comScore Inc.

Netflix, No. 13 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide, says subscribers in the region will be able to stream over the Internet an unlimited amount of TV shows and movies for a flat subscription price, but did not disclose the price. Consumers will be able to access Netflix in Spanish, Portuguese and English.

Netflix, which launched in 1997 as a DVD rental service that sent discs to subscribers by mail, is increasingly shifting its focus to video streaming. It introduced a streaming-only subscription plan last November to U.S. consumers and in September made its first foray into international web retailing by launching a streaming-only service in Canada. Analysts at investment firm Goldman Sachs estimate Netflix will end mail distribution of DVDs by 2020 in favor of online streaming.

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