Exclusive: Netflix to launch in Sweden

US online video streaming service Netflix is launching in Sweden later this year, TBI can reveal.

Sweden will be the latest European country to be targeted by the service following its launch in the UK and Ireland and comes after it announced it would speed up its international plans.

TBI was the first to report Netflix’s content partners in the UK and now understands that the company is in talks with local producers, international distributors and broadcasters in Sweden as it looks to build up its library of content ahead of launching in the country.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said last month that given the company’s anticipated return to profitability in the second quarter, it would launch in an additional European country in the fourth quarter.

Having launched in Canada and Latin America, Netflix had previously planned to roll out in Spain and had got as far as agreeing programming deals with distributors. However, it put all international expansion plans on hold to get its domestic business back on track after a rocky 2011.

Netflix would not directly comment on the Sweden launch, but local sources confirmed that it was happening.

“As you know, Netflix arrived in Europe earlier this year, launching in the UK and Ireland in January,” said Joris Evers, director of corporate communications at Netflix. ” Any discussion about Netflix in Sweden is rumors/speculation. We have said publicly that we intend to open in another international market in the fourth quarter of this year. We have not announced where that will be.”

At the end of the first quarter Netflix had 22 million paying subscribers in the US and 2.41 million in international markets.

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