Just when people in Europe were starting to despair that it would ever happen, Netflix has now announced plans to expand into France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.
It’s official! We’ll launch in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium and Luxembourg later this year. #Netflix
— Netflix US (@netflix) May 21, 2014
However, before potential customers in those countries start celebrating, it is worth pointing out up-front that Netflix has an up-hill battle ahead of it – and this is probably why it was taking so long to officially start. And probably why there is no official launch date as of yet.
In France, a certain quota of television and movies has to be made inside France in the French language. Plus it faces the surreal situation of facing a television station that owns the rights to show Netflix’s House of Cards.
Germany will be the toughest nut to crack. A large amount of foreign programming in Germany is dubbed into German, and if Netflix has to do that for its content, that will become very expensive and very time-consuming. The country also has several popular video-on-demand channels already, as well as Amazon Instant Video.
But if Netflix can overcome all of that, Germany could become one of Netflix’s most lucrative markets. The country has a very large and very fast broadband Internet infrastructure, and a large number of Germans are online. Plus the Netflix brand also carries some weight. The company also seems to recognize that not every country is the same, and that some tinkering around with the formula is required.
So when Netflix launches in these countries, will you be signing up?
Source: BBC News