By Sahil Patel
Already available in North America, Central America, South America (the Americas!), the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the Nordics, Netflix’s next move might be to expand more into continental Europe.
According to a report from GigaOm, Netflix looks to be eyeing Germany and France as the next two markets to bring its streaming service to. GigaOm bases its report on PR job postings Netflix has put up for a European PR team, which would be based in Amsterdam. In the listing, Netflix requires that applicants have the “ability to speak/write English,” though “Dutch, the Nordic languages, German, and French are a plus.” It certainly suggests that Germany and France, two of the largest markets in the world, will soon become Netflix territories (even if they aren’t “next,” per se).
This isn’t the first reported instance of Netflix’s interest in France. Early last month, Netflix reportedly met with French officials to discuss expansion plans. Though any potential launch would require Netflix to navigate France’s notoriously complex rules relating to film windowing and rights. As we previously wrote:
“A film cannot be shown on a VOD subscription service until three years after first appearing in theaters. However, this rule does not apply for renting films on set-tops, which are only required to wait four months before offering recently-released movies.
This complex system of regulations was initially put into place in order to protect French producers and theaters. Of course, the extended time required to actually stream a film via VOD has made the launch of streaming services in France near impossible.”
Last month’s meeting was apparently focused on helping Netflix get a better understanding of the French system.
Outside of Europe, there also have been reports about Netflix considering a launch in Australia in 2014. Which is to say, while Netflix ended Q3 2013 with 10.5 million international subscribers, growing that number significantly will be a major area of focus for the company in 2014. After all, it might have surpassed HBO in the US, but it still has a long way to go to match the premium cable network global. Reed Hastings said so himself last year.