Netflix plans major European expansion for late 2014

NetflixBuilding4Netflix is planning a “significant expansion” in Europe later this year, with launches lined up for Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium and Luxembourg. 

Confirming its growth plans, Netflix said that broadband users in these countries will be able to subscribe to Netflix from “late 2014” and instantly watch a curated selection of local, Hollywood and global TV series and movies.

Like in its other markets, viewers will be able to watch ad-free content for a monthly fee from TVs, tablets, phones, game consoles and computers. However, precise details of pricing, programming and supported devices will be released nearer the time.

The latest European launches will follow on from Netflix’s rollout in the Netherlands last year. The US subscription VoD site first moved into Europe in 2012 when it launched in the UK and Ireland in 2012. Later the same year it also went live in the Nordic countries of Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark.

Rumours that Netflix was planning a French launch emerged earlier this year, with the French rights collecting society the SACD calling for France’s audiovisual distribution rules to be reformed ahead of Netflix’s anticipated arrival in September.

Last month, German tech site also reported that Netflix was planning a September launch for the German market.

In Netflix’s Q4 2013 earnings announcement in January it first indicated that it planned to “embark on a substantial European expansion” later this year.

The firm has also experienced strong growth in the markets where it is already present. Earlier this month, new research by broadband network solutions firm Sandvine said that Netflix has become the second largest driver of traffic on fixed access networks in the UK and Ireland and is likely to overtake YouTube in the next year.

Roughly 50% to 60% of US households that use connected consumer electronics devices also now subscribe to Netflix, according to recent research by Parks Associates.

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