Netflix will start its service in Spain in October with limited content, similar to the versions of the streaming service available in France and Germany, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said in an interview with Spanish Daily El Mundon. For some time, Netflix has hesitated to enter Spain due to the country’s fecund piracy, but during the interview, Hastings said that piracy did not scare him.
Subscription price not revealed
Hastings said that he is expecting Spain to be one of their most successful countries, adding, “There is a very high penetration of broadband Internet, and people are used to e-commerce and have shown they are interested in our product.”
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The Netflix CEO did mention that the Spanish audience would be able to enjoy original series such as Daredevil but did not talk about the exact subscription price, however, indicating that it would be similar to that of other European countries. In Spain, Netflix will showcase series in the original English or dubbed into Spanish. However, Netflix will not air two of its most famous shows, House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, as pay platform Canal Plus already owns the Spanish rights for the two shows.
Piracy helping Netflix
Talking of piracy, the CEO said that piracy could be a problem, but the truth remains that it has also created an audience that is fond of watching content online. According to Hastings, Netflix offers an immediate and easier alternative to people rather than searching for the torrent. “We could think of it like bottled water. Tap water is drinkable and it’s free, but people still demand bottled water,” Hastings said.
Piracy has been quite rampant in Spain. A report in March claimed that 2014 was the biggest year for Spain in terms of piracy, as almost 88% of the content was “obtained illegally.” Also, in 2012, WikiLeaks revealed that the U.S. was on the verge of ending trade ties with Spain as the country was not doing enough to curtail file sharing. However, in 2013, Spain did improve its image in Hollywood, and this year, the country passed legislation making it mandatory for ISPs to block copyright infringing websites. Despite all measures, with unemployment still around 24% level, it will be harder for Netflix and the government to make people pay for content.