Netflix has completed a busy week in Europe after launching its video streaming service in Belgium and Luxembourg. These launches follow its hotly-anticipated arrival in France, and launches in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland earlier this week and are part of its ambitious European expansion program. The company says it is targeting an estimated 63 million households with broadband across these six countries. The Netflix service itself is available for €7.99 in EU countries, and 11.90 Swiss Francs in Switzerland.
Netflix debuted on a grand new stage this week, but unless you pay for your Internet TV with euros, you’d be forgiven for never noticing. On Friday, the streaming-video subscription service launched in Belgium and Luxembourg to cap a week of rollouts in six countries in mainland Europe this week. Combined with Germany, France, Austria, and Switzerland, it’s the company’s biggest expansion by number of potential subscribers ever. The rollout was largely invisible in the US, the UK and most other territories where Netflix operates, playing out in the local media in the new countries and through coy tweets by Netflix-owned Twitter accounts. But the move into Europe’s heart is crucial for the Los Gatos, California-based company. With its core US business hitting reliable but routine growth, international expansion is the fuel Netflix will pour onto its ambitions to become the globe’s premier Internet television network in the next few years. The new countries not only represent the greatest opportunity Netflix has embarked upon, but also bring the highest stakes. They’re also a stepping stone to the places Netflix is expected to enter next.