Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said the firm is trying to establish worldwide, rather than regional, content deals with its partners as it continues global expansion efforts.
Speaking at the Edinburgh International Television Festival yesterday, Sarandos said that the way the firm is crafting license agreements – bidding for first-run rights to shows and launching its own original productions – is already “changing the way that people think about television and television viewing.”
He went on to call for more cross-territory deals.
“With the global internet being treated as a regional distribution platform, consumers will only become more and more frustrated over time. It will cause piracy to flourish and as such, we are trying today to create more global relationships with our suppliers to address just that problem,” said Sarandos.
Speaking a week after Netflix announced it would roll out its streaming service in Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland by the end of the year, Sarandos said more countries would follow as the firm aims to go global.
“Today our intent is that Netflix will be a global company. Yes, we announced the Nordics will be our next place, but really it’s just the rhythm of opening in new territories. Unforutately it’s country-by-country in negotiating the rights for the content, but what we’re trying to do is select markets where we thing we can get to rapid scale.
“The Nordics are great because it’s a great economy, a large install base for broadband, developed consumer behaviour of getting content off the internet, and a big appetite for English-language content. The rest of the world will follow, it’s all a matter of time,” Sarandos said.
Netflix made its first push into Europe in January when it launched in the UK and Ireland. The US service is also available in Canada and Latin America. Discussing the competitve British market – where services like Amazon’s LoveFilm, and Sky’s Now TV service is also active – Sarandos was unphased by the challenge.
“Over some period of time, just about all entertainment is going to come into the home via the internet. So it’s a very big market, proven out by how big the last iteration of television has been. You’re talking about a large battlefield, because it’s a huge business, and everyone’s going to battle it out to own this new space,” he said.