Netflix plans expansion in crowded European entertainment market

Netflix Germany France Launch

Netflix plans to extend its presence in Europe this year, The Wall Street Journal has learned, targeting various markets including Germany and France, the fourth and sixth largest broadband markets in the world, respectively, according to SNL Kagan. The researcher also revealed that Western Europe had 134 million broadband homes at the end of 2013, while the U.S. only had 88 million – thus, growth in the video streaming business in Western Europe is expected to surpass global demand, with revenue expected to reach $1.1 billion in 2017, making the region a very interesting proposition for Netflix.

The company is currently in talks with American entertainment companies about licensing rights to content for European countries, and with the French government eying a launch in the region before the end of the year. Netflix, which operates in a few European markets including the U.K, Netherlands and Nordic countries, will have a difficult job ahead, as there are plenty of Netflix-like content providers in the region.

Netflix international subscriber base | Image credit: The Wall Street Journal

Netflix international subscriber base | Image credit: The Wall Street Journal

However, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings doesn’t appear to be worried about competing with similar services in any market. “We can still build a very successful business,” Hastings told investors last week. “I think the key is having unique content, a great reputation, a good value proposition.” Since expanding in other markets in 2010, Netflix has significantly increased its international base, hitting almost 10 million Netflix subscribers worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2013. Last week, the company reported a killer Q4 2013 quarter, revealing it added 2.33 million U.S. subscribers, for a total of 33.4 million subscribers in the country.

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