It’s official: Netflix will launch in Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg later this year. The video service announced the expansion into continental Europe late Tuesday, but didn’t give an exact launch date, or details on pricing or catalog. From Netflix’s press release:
“Upon launch, broadband users in these countries can subscribe to Netflix and instantly watch a curated selection of Hollywood, local and global TV series and movies, including critically-acclaimed Netflix original series, whenever and wherever they like on TVs, tablets, phones, game consoles and computers.“
The announcement didn’t really come as a big surprise to anyone who has been following the company. Netflix announced last that it was planning a significant expansion into Europe in 2014, and there have been hints that the service would be coming to Germany and France ever since.
One of the details not mentioned in the announcement was the actual launch date. Netflix said only that it will reveal further details “ including pricing, programming and supported devices” in the coming months, but there have been reports that the launch will happen in September.
This will be Netflix’s first major international expansion in two years. The company launched the UK and Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden in 2012, but only added the Netherlands to that list in 2013. By year’s end, Netflix is going to be available in 47 countries around the world.
Netflix CEO Reed Hasting said during an investor call last year that he believes that Netflix will eventually make 70 to 80 percent of its revenue in markets outside of the U.S. During its most recent quarter, subscription fees customers in international markets made up for 25 percent of Netflix’s revenue.
International expansions are coming at a cost for Netflix, as the company needs to spend money for local content and advertising. However, strong international growth has helped Netflix to offset some of those costs in recent months, and executives said during the company’s most recent earnings call that they expect Netflix to be profitable in existing international markets by the end of the year.