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Netflix Launches Service in Germany

16 Sep, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Netflix's Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos pose with cast and crew from original series in Berlin at SVOD launch

SVOD pioneer continues steadfast march into Europe

Netflix Sept. 16 bowed service in Germany, the second of six European countries slated for operations in the coming months. It follows a similar service launch in France Sept. 15, including subscriptions starting at 7.99 euros monthly.

Netflix ended its most recent fiscal period with 50 million subscribers, including 12.9 million internationally.

Unlike France, Netflix Germany will stream programing in English with German subtitles or dubbed in German. Also, Netflix subs with accounts in the United States can reportedly access the service in Germany.

Netflix also inked pacts with Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone to enable easier access to the telecoms’ subscribers and smoother streaming access on their broadband connections.

Netflix enters a German market with established SVOD players, including Watchever, Maxdome, Sky Snap and Amazon Prime Instant Video (formerly LoveFilm).

At the gala launch in Berlin, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and CCO Ted Sarandos showcased select cast and crew from original series "Orange is the New Black," "Hemlock Grove," and "From Dawn Till Dusk," the latter marketed as "A Netflix Original Series" in foreign territories.

Notably absent from the German and French launches were cast and crew from Netflix original series "House of Cards," whose pay-TV rights producer Sony Pictures Television licensed to CanalPlus in France and Sky Deutschland.

"We are proud to bring the future of television to Germany," Hastings said in a statement.

Benjamin Swinburne, analyst with Morgan Stanley in New York, said he expects Netflix to generate 1 million free trial subscribers in France and Germany through the end of September.

MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson, who co-moderated Netflix's most-recent earnings webcast, believes the streaming service can add subs exponentially over the next several years.

“We now project Netflix international paid subscribers will nearly reach 46 million in 2018 with the most amount of subscribers in Latin America, followed by Canada, UK & Ireland and the Nordics,” Nathanson wrote in a note.

The analyst contends Netflix can generate 700,000 subs Germany by the end of December, while France will generate 600,000. Austria, Belgium and Switzerland are projected to generate 100,000 subs each.

Netflix ended the second quarter with 12.9 million international subscribers.

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