Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) will expand its services to six European countries this year, including Germany and France. This European expansion is a big part of the online streaming company’s drive to expand into new markets. Other countries where customers will be able to enjoy Netflix services are Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
Netflix revealed international plans earlier
Earlier, the company also elaborated on its plans to expand into Europe, but the countries were not revealed. Customers in the European Union will now be able to access an assortment of Hollywood, local and global TV series and movies along with the original Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) content such as House of Cards. However, Netflix is not authorized to show all its content in all the markets. Details about the programming and pricing by country will be announced later.
At present, the streaming company has a customer base of 48 million across 40 countries, with 35.7 million of them in the United States. In the United States, the company is at the top in the video on demand category. In Europe, only the United Kingdom, Scandinavia and the Netherlands enjoy Netflix service.
A different set of rules
A report from SNL Kagan revealed that Germany has the most number of broadband subscribers, totaling to 29.1 million in 2013. France is at number three with 24.7 million behind Russia. The company will have to face rivals like Canal Play Infinity from Vivendi’s Canal Plus in France, and Amazon.com Inc’s Prime Instant Video.
France also has some tough rules regarding the movie releases in different formats. Monthly subscription services cannot stream a movie up to three years after a movie release in the theaters, but it can be rented through a set-top box four months after its debut. Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX)’s international unit is shelling out a huge amount of money to buy content and market the service.
For the last reported quarter, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) posted a loss of $35 million for its international segment, which is less than half of what was incurred in the same period the previous year. In an earlier letter, Netflix said that International expansion will continue and near term profits will be modest. In its letter to shareholders on April 21, the California-based company reported that due to expansion, its International unit will run at a loss.