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Summary:

Netflix won’t expand to another international market until the end of this or early next year, but the company is already looking for help to translate its site – giving us some interesting clues.

Europe Asia Africa
photo: kcp4911

Netflix posted a few job offers that hint at further international expansion in late March, including one for “experienced linguists with the ability to translate and customize marketing, UI and content materials for the target market.” The job posting goes on to say:

“We are looking for highly motivated individuals with the right mix of technical, organizational and communication skills to provide localization for the Netflix experience in the following languages: Turkish, Dutch, Hindi, French, and Korean.”

The company is also looking for an engineer to be the internationalization and localization evangelist at the company, further highlighting how important international markets are for Netflix.

Netflix has occasionally looked to hire employees to help with its internationalization efforts in the past, and job postings frequently contain countries that the company may not consider at all, just to make things less transparent for competitors. For example, in late 2011, a job offer listed “Turkish, Dutch, Russian, French, Hindi, German, Italian, Danish, Korean, Finnish, Japanese, and Spanish” as languages of interest.

Needless to say, Netflix hasn’t launched in Russia just yet. However, nine months after that job posting, the company announced plans to open shop in Northern Europe – including Finland and Denmark.

It’s very likely that South Korea, India and European countries such as the Netherlands, France and Belgium are at least under consideration as potential targets for further international expansion. Turkey seems less likely, but it’s certainly possible – the country has a thriving TV and movie industry, and it has seen an economic boom even as other parts of Europe have struggled.

Netflix is currently operating in over 40 countries, including the U.K. and Ireland, the Nordics, Latin America and Canada. It might take some time until we find out where Netflix will go next: executives said earlier this year that the company won’t embark on any further international expansions until late 2013 or early 2014. However, CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells also made it clear that they definitely want to expand further, writing in their letter to shareholders:

“Our launch in the Nordics was very successful, confirming our belief in the large international opportunity for our service.”

Map courtesy of Flickr user kcp4911.

  1. I doubt if they can find success in India. Broadband speeds in India is still pathetic and nowhere close to what you’d require for a decent streaming experience. So forget about entering India for the next 5-10 years!

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    1. I don’t really know what ‘India’ you are living in my friend. I have a 16 Mbps broadband for ~1800/month (~$20/month). And most of my peers, friends enjoy similar speeds at home and decent 3G speeds on mobile devices. I personally feel, they will do very well in Metros specially.

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  2. Russia? Are you kidding me, it is pirates heaven. Forget about it. Go to -stan republics instead and hook up with the lords and sultans running these forgotten lands.

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  3. S. Korea would be tough given the ease, low cost and acceptance of piracy.

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    1. I think Netflix may actually view piracy as an indicator that they’re having a shot, as long as other factors are met as well. Think about it: High online piracy means people are already used to consuming media online. High piracy rates also tend to go along with high broadband speeds (case in point: South Korea).

      And subscription businesses have shown that they can compete with piracy. Take Sweden, for example. Homeland of the Pirate Bay, birthplace of the pirate party. But also the country that gave us Spotify, and one of the countries in which Netflix already is successful.

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      1. Andrew Stewart Tuesday, April 9, 2013

        One place where i think that netflix would really do will is the Philippines. Their are approximately 100 million people there, and a very large percentage of them have high speed internet. Also the use of Iphone and Android based phones are very high here. So the use of netflix via 4g mobile would be of interest for netflix.

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