Netflix (s NFLX) may finally be readying itself for foreign markets, as it is looking to hire someone to head up the development of an international service. According to a job listing on the Netflix website, the subscription rental firm is seeking a Director of Product Management to “help drive its international expansion efforts.”
Netflix has been planning to launch an international version of its subscription service, which would enable customers to pay a monthly fee for access to its online streaming titles. Over the last several quarters, CEO Reed Hastings has said that the service would launch sometime in 2010, but declined to specify in which market it would begin offering the service. Unlike the company’s business in the U.S., an overseas service would be streaming only, and would not include its DVD-by-mail offerings.
It makes sense that Netflix would not attempt to rebuild its DVD-by-mail infrastructure in a foreign market; after all, it has taken 10 years for the company to reach the scale it needs to serve the U.S., and streaming is becoming an increasingly important part of its business. In its first-quarter earnings, Netflix revealed that 55 percent of all subscribers had used the Watch Instantly streaming service during the first three months of the year, up from 48 percent a quarter earlier and 36 percent a year ago.
Streaming growth for Netflix is being driven by increased consumer awareness of the service, as well as the availability of Watch Instantly on a number of consumer electronics devices that let subscribers watch streaming videos in the living room. Netflix streaming can now be viewed on the Roku set-top box, the Microsoft Xbox 360 (s MSFT), Sony PlayStation 3 (s SNE) and Nintendo Wii gaming consoles, Blu-ray players and HDTVs from consumer electronics manufacturers like Insignia (s BBY), LG, Samsung and Sony, and TiVo (s TIVO) DVRs. Altogether, Netflix plans to have the service available on more than 100 CE devices by the end of 2010.
Related content on GigaOM Pro: Slow and Steady, Netflix Pulls Ahead in Streaming Video (subscription required)