In a week that has seen OTT streaming giant Netflix launch in four new European territories, Switzerland, France, Germany and Austria, onlookers are applauding the measured manner of its ongoing European expansion.
“I think perhaps it’s slightly later than I thought it might have been but that speaks of their desire to get their market strategies correct,” Oliver Johnson, CEO of Point Topic, told IP&TV News. “Obviously they understand that the European is a different market to the US, and that mainland Europe is a different market to the UK. I think they’ve taken a bit of time to look at the rights issues – but also what sort of content is going to be applicable on these markets: House of Cards apparently didn’t do very well in Germany.”
Johnson additionally complimented the specific approaches to different territories, such as Netflix’s distribution partnership with Deutsche Telekom in Germany (where it launched two days ago).
“It’s very sensible. The thing about a foreign market is that these places are different. If you’re going to try to go in their all guns blazing, you’ve got to have a really deep set of pockets, and another way of doing it is saying, okay, we’re going to cooperate with someone who knows the market, who has good presence. Deutsche Telekom comes in for some criticism, but in Germany it’s generally well respected.”
Concluding, Johnson noted that, while Netflix might not presently be doing anything “spectacularly different” from its competitors, its strength so far lies in its having done “the right things in the right order in the right markets so far.”