Netflix launches full Bahasa Indonesia interface, more subtitles for local subscribers

Screen grab showing Netflix’s Bahasa Indonesia user interface.
Screen grab showing Netflix’s Bahasa Indonesia user interface.

Netflix, the world’s biggest subscription-based video streaming service, is trying to make itself more accessible to their audience in the archipelago with the implementation of a fully localized user interface in Bahasa Indonesia.

In a press release issued yesterday, Netflix announced that subscribers can now change the service’s language setting to Bahasa Indonesia to enjoy a full local language experience. Additionally, Netflix says that Bahasa Indonesia subtitles will now be more readily available for a greater range of programming.

“By engaging with consumers in their preferred language, Netflix becomes more accessible and relevant to consumers. We are delighted that now our Indonesian members will also experience the Netflix service in their local language,” Netflix Vice President for Corporate Communications Asia Jessica Lee stated in the release.

Speaking to Detik, Netflix Corporate Communications Manager Kooswardini Wulandari clarified that Bahasa Indonesia subtitles will be available for nearly all shows and movies on Netflix.

“Out of all of the content on Netflix, 85% of them already have Bahasa Indonesia subtitles. [To get to 100%] would depend on user behavior,” she said.

In addition to localizing its user interface, Netflix has also recently added numerous popular Indonesian movies such as Filosofi Kopi, Ada Apa Dengan Cinta? 2, and Laskar Pelangi.

Of course, Indonesian action film fans can also look forward to the critically-acclaimed first Indonesian Netflix original movie, The Night Comes for Us, starring The Raid’s Iko Uwais and Joe Taslim, which premieres worldwide on the streaming service today.

Despite Netflix’s localization drive, it remains unavailable to a large number of Indonesians, specifically customers of state-owned internet service provider Telkom. Netflix has been blocked by Telkom since 2016, supposedly on content censorship grounds though many suspect Telkom was actually only trying to protect the business interests of its own affiliated streaming services) and Kooswardini gave no indication that there has been any meaningful progress from Telkom about lifting the ban.

“We’re still discussing it with Telkom. It’s an ongoing discussion,” she said.

Netflix has partnered up with other operators including XL Axiata, Bolt, Hutchison 3 Indonesia, and Smartfren to provide video data plan packages to customers.

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