Netflix drops hints on its global expansion plans

January 8, 2015 11:02 AM

(Bloomberg) -- Netflix Inc., the world’s largest subscription streaming service, is dropping hints about where it may expand next.

In a research note, Citibank analyst Mark May pointed out a LinkedIn job posting seeking people fluent in Arabic, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish and Vietnamese.

“Candidates will use their language skills to provide localization for the Netflix experience, which includes translating content materials and customizing marketing for target markets,” the company said in the posting.

Including the expansion to Australia and New Zealand in the works this year, the ad suggests Netflix may have plans to enter markets with 100 million or more broadband households, May wrote in a research report today. Netflix had 50.7 million paid subscribers globally as of Sept. 30.

“Most investors may not have recalibrated their models for the sizable investments coming in 2015 and beyond,” May wrote.

Netflix is No. 7 in the 2014 Internet Retailer Top 500.

Todd Yellin, Netflix’s vice president of innovation, told reporters today at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that the company, based in Los Gatos, California, has plans to enter more markets, without giving specifics on when or where.

“We’re constantly looking at more countries,” Yellin said. “You can expect more announcements later this year.”

Netflix executives in Las Vegas and at the Television Critics Association meetings in Pasadena, California, emphasized the company is focused on Australia and New Zealand. While the company has sought out local-language experts for years, advertisements can’t be tied to any specific plans.

“We’ve been very clear about our intention to become a global Internet television provider,” said Cliff Edwards, a spokesman for Netflix. “We have nothing to share at this time on additional territory launches. We’re focused, as you know, on delivering service in March to Australia and New Zealand.”

In Pasadena, California, Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told reporters at a TV critics’ meeting that the company is interested in offering “The Interview,” the Seth Rogen comedy about a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“People want to see the movie, we want to be able to deliver the movie,” Sarandos said.

Netflix announced a string of premiere dates for new programming including plans for a second season of Marco Polo. Sarandos also confirmed the company had acquired the rights to a new Pee-wee Herman film being developed by producer Judd Apatow.

Netflix rose 0.5 percent to $327.20 at the close in New York. The shares fell 7.2 percent last year.





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