Netflix Launches in the Netherlands

Kicking off the streaming video service in the first new territory since the company rolled out in Scandinavia last year, CEO Reed Hastings said: "We're proud to bring the future of television to the Netherlands."

BERLIN – Netflix has officially launched in the Netherlands, marking the first new international territory for the VOD giant since rolling out in Scandinavia late last year.

The Dutch service became available on Wednesday for $10.60 (€7.99) per month and will offer subscribers Netflix's original series, including House of Cards, Hemlock Grove and season four of Arrested Development, as well as thousands of hours of entertainment programming from outside suppliers, including hit series such as Dexter, Homeland and Modern Family.

Also, Ricky Gervais‘ comedy Derek will become available exclusively in the Netherlands on Netflix on Sept. 12, the company said.  

Playing to the popularity of European series in the local market, Netflix will also offer BBC favorites Luther and Sherlock and Scandinavian crime dramas The Killing and The Bridge.

"We're proud to bring the future of television to the Netherlands," said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in a statement from Amsterdam on Wednesday. "The Dutch have incredible broadband, but until today have not been able to take full advantage of their fast connections. Now people in the Netherlands can subscribe to Netflix and instantly watch great TV shows and movies anywhere, anytime, for one low monthly price."

Netflix in the Netherlands will be available on most devices, whether HDTV sets, home computers, game consoles or mobile phones and tablets.

The rich, digital-savvy Dutch market could be a significant profit center for Netflix if the company can carve out a significant beachhead. But the cable, Internet and VOD business in the Netherlands is already crowded with competitors, many of them with deep pockets. Ahead of Netflix's launch, UPC Netherlands, the cable group controlled by John Malone’s Liberty Global, and broadcaster RTL Netherlands, a subsidiary of German media giant Bertelsmann, have ramped up their digital offers.

Netflix can claim some 37 million subscribers across 40 territories, but the great majority, nearly 30 million, are in the U.S. While Netflix has been successful in certain international territories, such as Canada, progress elsewhere has been slow, hampered by strong local competition and, in many cases, infrastructure issues.

But Netflix has proved flexible in its approach in recent months and able to adapt to local conditions. The company’s recent deal with U.K. cable giant Virgin Media that will see Netflix’s VOD service bundled together with Virgin’s pay TV offering was a first for the industry and could be a blueprint for similar deals in other territories, according to analysts.

Wall Street once again appears to be bullish on Netflix’s global prospects. The company’s stock hit an all-time high on Tuesday, topping $300 a share. Netflix stock is up more than 200 percent so far this year.