Netflix to Launch in Netherlands Later This Year

DOWN: Reed Hastings

Less than a year ago, the Netflix chief's stock was at $285 a share. On July 30, it closed at just $57.75 thanks to slowing domestic growth and the high cost of expanding overseas.

The online streaming giant previously signaled that it would enter one new foreign country this year.

Netflix said late Tuesday that it would launch its streaming service in the Netherlands later this year as the company continues to expand into international territories.

CEO Reed Hastings and his team previously signaled that it would add one foreign country this year. Netflix didn't immediately provide launch timing details for the Netherlands.

"Upon launch, broadband Internet users in the Netherlands can subscribe to Netflix and instantly watch Hollywood, local and global TV series and films, including critically-acclaimed Netflix Original Series such as House of Cards and Arrested Development whenever and wherever they like on tablets, phones, TVs, game consoles and computers," Netflix said.

The company launched its streaming video service in 2007 and now has more than 36 million members in 40 countries, including Canada, Scandinavia and Latin America.

Netflix this year slowed down its global expansion push, which has affected its financials.

While the Netherlands' market is tiny compared to the U.K., it is a prime growth territory for VOD. According to figures from the Film Research Foundation, annual revenue from VOD in the Netherlands topped $96 million (€72 million) last year and the number of Dutch people watching films via VOD at home has doubled in the last three years to nearly two million (of a population of just over 16 million).

VOD currently makes up a quarter of total home entertainment revenue in the Netherlands, a proportion that is certain to grow as DVD sales continue to slump in the territory. VOD growth, however, is also slowing, from 62 percent up in 2011 to 41 percent growth last year, something that analysts have suggested could be linked to illegal online screening.

Netflix' main competitors in the territory will be traditional media companies that have extended their reach online. These include cable providers, such as Ziggo or Liberty Global-owned UPC, which offer VOD services as part of their cable TV, and Internet broadband packages: RTL XL, the VOD service provided by commercial free-TV broadcaster RTL and the VOD arm of Dutch video rental chain MovieMax.