CEO Reed Hastings said that the company was set to return to global profitability in the second quarter of the year and, as a result, would speed up plans to launch further international services. Netflix, last year, announced that it was freezing its global ambitions following large subscriber losses in the US. However, it achieved its strong streaming subscriber growth this quarter, with the net addition of 1.7 million customers, taking the total number of US streaming subscribers to 23.41 million. Netflix currently has 3.07 million international subscribers, an increase of 1.21 million in the first three months of the year.
“Given our expected return to global profitability in Q2, and how well we’ve been received in the UK, we’ve decided to open an additional attractive European market in Q4 of this year. Assuming continued success, and additional markets we can enter with confidence, we expect to roughly match the rollout of new markets to global profitability for the foreseeable future,” said Hastings.
The company had laid out plans to launch in Spain before halting its international plans last year and it is also reportedly eyeing moves in other European countries. Hastings said that it has seen more success from its launch in the UK and Ireland than its rollout across Latin America and that it would target developed countries rather than emerging markets for its next phase of growth. “So we’ll tend to be [looking] more towards developed markets that are more like Canada, UK and Ireland than strong emerging markets like Latin America,” he said.