Netflix may speed up international expansion in 2015

Netflix Building41-620x413Netflix is prepping “sizable expansion” in international markets next year and may speed up the rate of new roll outs over 2014.

The US-listed streaming service recently rolled out in six European territories – France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg – in addition to its Nordic and UK and Ireland services, which were already available in Europe.

Company CFO David Wells spoke at a RBC Capital Markets analyst conference yesterday and said there will be no let-up in the pace of international launches. Indeed, Netflix could even speed up the rate it hits new territories.

Asked about whether it would launch in new in territories at the same pace as in 2014, Wells said: “You should expect that in the next year there will be sizable expansion, so something in the order of this year, or even potentially a little bit more.”

Netflix is expected to launch in Australia in 2015 and there are now several rumours it will also roll out in Japan and or Korea. Thus far it has restricted its international services to Latin American and Europe, but Wells said Asia is on the company’s radar.

“We have the appropriate appreciation for both the opportunity and the challenges in those [Asian] markets,” Wells said. “A lot of those markets have the potential to have much more local content focus, in terms of programming, but there’s still plenty of demand if you look at what folks are watching in Asia, it’s still House of Cards, it’s still a lot of Western content.”

Asked if Netflix was facing a surprisingly low number of OTT competitors in Europe, the Netflix finance boss said that its entry into a European market was often spurring the existing pay TV players to up their game.

“We definitely galvanise local competition when we enter the market,” he said. “We see that over and over and over again with Sky in Europe, with other incumbent players, whether it’s Vivendi or others.”

Netflix reported 14.4 million paying international subs in its most recent earnings, for 3Q14. The international operations created a US$31 million loss for the company in the the quarter.

The company said at that point, its international operations launched pre-2014 were profitable when measured collectively.

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