Netflix, Inc. To Debut In Southern Europe

As it accelerates its international expansion, Netflix is set to launch in Spain and Portugal this October

As part of its aspirations of becoming a global corporation by the end of 2016, Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) launched its internet video streaming service in Southern Europe. The company was planning its debut in Spain and Portugal in October 2016.

With a condensed content catalog, Netflix?s service will boast films, series and shows similar to those offered by the company for its versions in Germany and France. Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO came out public with this announcement in an interview posted in the Spanish daily newspaper ?El Mundo?.

?I think Spain is going to be one of our most successful countries,? Hastings stated. ?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.? Saying that audiences in Spain will at launch, have access to its original shows such as ?Marvel?s Daredevil?, ?Bloodline? and ?Marco Polo?, Hastings notes that a definite subscription fee for the service has not yet been decided. He however said that the service will be priced similar to its pricing points in other European markets. New shows and films be added and updated periodically, inclusive of yet-to-launch comedy series like ?Narcos? and ?Club de Cuervos?.

Content will be customized to local preferences and subscribers will have the freedom to choose to stream videos in original English language with subtitles, or have the dubbed Spanish format. Much to the users? disappointment however, two of Netflix?s most popular original shows, ?Orange is the New Black? and ?House of Cards?, will not be available in Spain. This is because pay TV Canal Plus? online platform already owns Spanish rights for the two shows.

The European country?s widespread piracy issue has long been considered a deterrent for the company to enter the market in Spain and Portugal. However, in the published interview by El Mundo, Reed Hastings was reported to have said that piracy did not terrify him.

?You could call it a problem, but it?s also true that it has created an audience that is used to watching content online. We offer an alternative that is much easier and immediate than searching for torrent,? he said. ?We could think of it like bottled water. Tap water is drinkable and it?s free, but people still demand bottled water.?

The CEO also did not seem daunted by the mounting competition in the Spanish market from the likes of Nubeox, Wuaki.TV or Telefonica?s Movistar.

?What we?re going to see are a lot of different offers and a diverse market,? Mr. Hastings said. ?I think it?s good for the consumer and I think it?s healthy for us to have competition and look for new formulas to give the user what they want.?

Already available for stream in over 50 nations globally, Netflix is embarking on aggressive international expansion as growth slowed down domestically.

As part of its bid to expand the increasingly popular subscription video on demand service to some 200 nations across the world in a span of two years, Mr. Hastings has already lined up its launch for China, for which he needs to forge some partnerships. Netflix has recently debuted in Japan, New Zealand, and Australia.

For the latest quarter, the company said it sported 19.3 million international members for its SVOD service, up by 63.5% from 11.8 million members it had a year earlier. Netflix does not offer its DVD platform on the international front. It has 40.3 million paying and streaming subscribers domestically, and ended the March quarter with 62 million subscribers globally.