Netflix vaunts Euro productions' worldwide fanbase

 01 Mar 2017 - 19:08

Netflix vaunts Euro productions' worldwide fanbase
Founder and CEO of Netflix Reed Hastings speaks during a keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 27, 2017. Phone makers will seek to seduce new buyers with artificial intelligence functions and other innovations at the world's biggest mobile fair starting today in Spain. AFP / Lluis Gene

AFP

Berlin:  Made-in-Europe productions from streaming video platform Netflix are a hit in the rest of the world, the US firm's chief executive said Wednesday in Berlin, promising more series and movies from the Old Continent.

"We are creating this global audience for great local productions," Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told journalists as he presented the group's latest European projects.

"Not only is it finding a big audience in Europe, but over two thirds of the viewing is outside of Europe, in North America, Latin America, in Asia," he went on.

Fresh from Oscar glory for its documentary "The White Helmets", following the lives of humanitarian workers in Syria's devastating civil war, the firm plans to invest some $6 billion in in-house productions in 2017.

Alongside US-made hits "House of Cards", "Orange is the new black", and "Narcos", Netflix currently has more than 90 European productions on its books.

An early star has been French political thriller Marseille, Hastings said, soon to be joined in the library by new German, Italian and Spanish offerings "Dark", "Suburra", and "Las chicas del cable".

Since 2012, the video provider has spent some $1.75 billion in Europe on original productions, co-productions or buying rights to existing works.

"And we are just getting started," Hastings went on, saying the firm is "continuing to invest as our membership around the world grows."

Netflix turned to streaming video 10 years ago after starting life as a flat-rate DVD rental service.

It now counts some 93 million subscribers in 190 countries, but only expanded into European countries including France and Germany in 2014.

This year will see Romanian and Greek added to the 13 languages it already offers in Europe.