Netflix is officially expanding into mainland Europe, announcing its intentions to launch in six more countries by the end of 2014.
In doing so, it faces several new challenges in France, Germany, Austria, and others. Strong competition and localization issues being amongst the issues facing Netflix in these new countries.
There have been strong hints of a Netflix invasion of mainland Europe for some time, but the company has now made it official by announcing its intention to launch streaming services in France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, and Luxembourg.
The expansion will, all being well, happen before the end of 2014, but no launch date has been specified. This new expansion follows on from the American company hitting the UK and Ireland in January 2012, followed by Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland in October 2012, and the Netherlands in 2013.
The new countries being targeted will present new challenges for Netflix to overcome.
For starters, there is already strong competition in Belgium and Germany, with the slow rate at which Netflix has moved across Europe allowing other companies the opportunity to gain a foothold. This means Netflix will have to be competitive on price while paying out to secure content.
There are also localization issues. Launching in the UK and Ireland was a fairly simple task given that English is the common language. But English-language movies and TV shows will need to be subtitled when offered to European viewers. Not a big deal, perhaps, but another challenge that needs to be overcome.
Netflix already has 48 million subscribers worldwide, but it needs to keep growing if it’s to become the de facto streaming video service of the future.
With little chance left to grow in the U.S., Europe is the logical next step towards world domination. That is if viewers in these countries take to Netflix as others have done.