Netflix recently launched in France, and Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland will soon follow suit. The move has been expected for a while, and CEO Reed Hastings has named Spain, Korea, and Japan as possible future markets.
As the next phases of the expansion unfold, Netflix will be pressed to add significant content and make other investments before it starts to see a profit. The large data center built by Netflix in Paris has enabled Netflix to get off to a fast start, unlike the company’s slower expansion in Latin America.
Netflix is already backing the making of an original French series, “Marseille,” a move toward content creation that took much longer in the U.S. This expansion could also give Netflix a powerful new ally in the fight for net neutrality – the European Union, which is currently considering reforms that would solidify net neutrality in law. “The advantage of net neutrality is that it allows new Internet services to grow without needing the permission of network operators,” said Hastings. “I think it needs to be inscribed in European law.”