Today in Connected Consumer

Netflix announced plans Wednesday to launch its video streaming service in the four Nordic countries of Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland later this year. The rollout will be Netflix’s first European expansion since launching in the U.K. and Ireland in January. The four Scandinavian countries boast high per capita GDP and high broadband penetration rates, two essential considerations for launching a streaming service. The move also keeps up pressure on Amazon’s LoveFilm, which started in the U.K. and Ireland and is now in Scandinavia. But I think the move into Scandinavia also reflects the high priority Netflix is putting on maximizing the bang for its rights-licensing buck as it expands internationally. Its first move outside of North America was into predominantly Spanish-speaking Latin America and South America. Content rights for those countries tend to be sold as a bundle because content can easily cross national┬áboundaries. That allows Netflix to exploit the rights its paying for in the largest possible number of households. Rights tend to work the same way in the Nordic countries, where the similarity of languages and cultures, particularly among Norway, Sweden and Denmark, means content can easily be exploited throughout the region.