With a new office in Paris to help it expand in Europe.
Netflix, on January 17, 2020 announced a significant new investment in France with the opening of a new office in Paris and the streaming service nearly doubled the number of French originals it has created so far. Since 2014, Netflix has produced 24 products in French, including six films and nine television series. But the new plan is to add 20 new products and develop a new company presence in Paris that includes 40 employees with nearly three times the size.
Netflix is making similar expansions worldwide, including elsewhere in Europe and South America. The company plans to open offices in Germany and Italy, and last year, it opened a large office in Mexico City. It also has branches in England, Spain and the Netherlands.
The goal is to diversify its lineup of shows and films to attract more international customers, especially as the growth in subscriber base in the US has reached the upper limit and competition from domestic firms like Disney and HBO heats up. Last July, the number of Netflix customers in the US dropped for the first time. That has made Netflix focused on international expansion more important than ever.
Netflix has successfully run foreign-language programs, including Spanish crime thriller films like Narcos and Money Heist and the German science fiction program Dark. It also won a gold award for a number of foreign-language films, including Oscar nominated Roma from Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón. And Netflix is investing heavily in Japanese content, including securing worldwide streaming rights for legendary Hideaki Anno anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, when another segment of the streaming battle includes Escalating bidding for animated films that are sought and shown both new and old.
However, while expanding its presence in a country like France that is considered good for business, it is also a legitimate reason. The European Parliament finalized in October 2018 new regulations related to Netflix and other streaming services EU presence in the EU, providing that at least 30 percent of all content is carried on this platform was originally produced in the region. Amazon, Netflix, and others will not be able to reach that quota until September 2020. So it is likely that Netflix’s new investments in Germany, Italy and France will help them do that.
Netflix also has controversial relationship with the French film community, after the company famously competed with the Cannes Film Festival for the contest’s eligibility requirements. Netflix was banned from returning in 2018 to compete for the Festival’s most prestigious award for limited stage activities, operating new French rules on local releases, and more broadly, national cultural connection to film as an organization.
Netflix later withdrew from the film festival formally and they did not send any films to Cannes 2019. So a new, dedicated presence in Paris and a significant increase in investment in Local products can help ease the relationship that has been there before.