It’s been a busy week for Netflix, which had a rocky start in France on Monday, and a smooth deployment in Germany on Tuesday.
The California-based company continued its European rollout this week with launches in Austria and Switzerland; Belgium and Luxembourg are next up.
As in France and Germany, Austrians can get the SVOD service for 7.99 Euros a month. Swiss subscribers will pay 9.85 Euros per month.
Subscribers can access content through connected TVs, computers, tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles and connected Blu-ray players.
Netflix has been adding country-specific content for the bulk of its international deployments, including the Nordics, United Kingdom and Ireland, France and Germany, but neither Austria nor Switzerland is slatted to launch with any local content. But, that’s likely to change as the service adds subscribers. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has said local content is crucial to success in the company’s international play.
While Netflix has not yet announced new countries it plans to expand into, the likely target is Australia, where the service already is heavily used by consumers skirting geo-blocking through VPNs. It’s estimated that as many as 200,000 Australians already pay for the U.S. version of Netflix, making it one of the largest streaming services in the country.
Netflix also may have tipped its intentions to deploy in Oz when it acquired the SVOD streaming rights in Australia to the upcoming Warner Bros.’s series Gotham. Nine Entertainment holds first-run rights to the series, which is expected to air in Australia later this year. Netflix would likely put the entire series up a year after its completed linear run.
Rumors also have circulated that Netflix will be offered in Spain in 2015.
Of course, the OTT-hungry markets in Central and Eastern Europe also continue to develop, and some pundits say a more natural path might be into English-speaking Africa.
The certainty? Netflix will continue to rapidly expand its global web.
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Amazon’s Fire TV box is now available for pre-order in the United Kingdom and Germany with delivery scheduled to begin next month.
Consumers who order today in Germany will be able to get their hands on the digital streaming device starting Sept. 25; for those in the U.K., delivery won’t start until Oct. 23.
The box, about the size of a deck of cards, allows users to access Amazon Prime Instant Video, as well as a range of other Internet video services, will cost 99 euros in Germany and £79 in the U.K., where it also will be available at retailers Argos, Dixons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco. Existing Amazon prime members in both countries can get the box for 49 euros and £49 for the next five days.
The early release date in Germany likely is a response to Netflix’s planned rollout there later this month.
Amazon already is in Germany with Amazon Instant Video and Prime Instant Video and has announced several new content deals there in an effort to blunt Netflix’s roll out.
Amazon Fire TV in Germany also includes access to catch-up and on-demand services from ZDF, ARD, Sport 1, Bild, Spiegel TV, Zattoo, Arte, Servus TV, and more. International content partners include Dailymotion, Vevo, Bloomberg, MUBI, Red Bull and others.
Unlike the U.K., German Fire TV users won’t at the moment have access through the device to Netflix, but that’s likely to change once Netflix is deployed.
In the U.K., Fire TV will support Amazon Instant Video, Prime Instant Video, and a range of other services including Netflix, YouTube, Demand 5, Sky News, Twitch, Spotify, Vevo and several others. It doesn’t currently list the BBC’s iPlayer as one of the services available; Amazon says more content services will be coming soon, including Demand 5, Curzon Home Cinema, STV Player, and more.
The Fire TV box launched in the U.S. market earlier this year into a crowded field that included devices from Apple, Google and Roku, among others.
Like Apple and Google, Amazon is offering an inexpensive device that gives consumers access to an near-endless array of content; a new take on the classic razor-razor blade business model.
But this model also includes a wild card: Netflix.
Follow me on Twitter @JimONeillMedia