Executives from streaming service Netflix have announced that their product should be widely available across the globe within a two year time frame. The service, which provides shows to users over the internet, currently serves North America, South America, and in Europe the countries of Denmark, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, the UK, France, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany.
A shareholder letter included in this year’s very positive yearly earning report from Netflix outlined plans to bring the service to countries across the world, saying that “We now believe we can complete our global expansion over the next two years.”. The company also claim that partnerships with existing European cable and satellite services are to be created, which may possibly speed Netflix’s expansion into the rest of mainland Europe.
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New markets such as China are also set for expansion, although the company is taking the textbook cautious approach with a soft touch for entering into the controlled Chinese economy we’ve seen time and time again from tech firms.
“For China, we are still exploring options — all of them modest. We’ll learn a great deal if we can successfully operate a small service in China centered on our original and other globally-licensed content. That is our preference, for the next few years, if we are able to acquire the necessary permissions.”
– Netflix Shareholder Letter
Building on successes in the US, the letter also announced that their first sphere of expansion has managed to become profitable, and has contributed to the successes of 2014. Additionally, the company highlighted the popularity of certain shows between countries – indeed, the UK and US, sharing a common language, are both enjoying content made in each other’s country, although syndicated US shows in the UK have been popular for decades.
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Reed Hastings, Netflix company CEO said that although some countries might enjoy each other’s shows, “not every piece of content will carry equally well,” but of course that in each country “a segment of the market in every country that follows Western, Hollywood, British content — and then we’re augmenting that with all kinds of local programming.”
A fine year for Netflix across the globe, but where could we expect to see the company pop up next? Well, the company’s focus on the value of internet television and streaming in general was outlined in the letter.
It is increasingly clear that virtually all entertainment video will be Internet video in the future. We believe there is big growth ahead in the US market for Netflix, even if we may not get there in a straight line of 6 million annual net adds. We’ll continue to improve our content, our marketing and our service, to eventually achieve “must have” status in most households.
– Netflix Shareholder Letter
Based on this dedication, we could possibly see increased numbers of shoes across existing Netflix using countries, plus across developing economies. India could be another good candidate, as well as the United Arab Emirates and the rest of Europe.
Although subscriptions have slowed in the US, Netflix are here to stay. Naturally, slowing down subscriber numbers could mean the service has nearly peaked, however, this also could just be a natural progression as the count climbs. nearly 40 million subscribers use the service in the US, and worldwide a further 18 million.