In an effort to further expand its reach in Europe, Netflix has launched its streaming video service in France. "[ALERTE SPOILER] On est là : netflix.fr", the company said in a tweet yesterday. (Translation: "Spoiler alert: We are here").
Netflix is offering users a month-long free trial, after which they'll be charged €7.99 per month. Just like other regions, the streaming service will be available on connected TVs, computers, tablets, smartphones, and game consoles.
While major telecom operators such as Orange, Canal Plus, and more haven't shown much interest in teaming up with Netflix, primarily because they have their own streaming service in place, Bouygues Telecom, the country’s third-largest telecom operator, has said it will offer Netflix's on-demand video streaming service on its TV set-top boxes.
Although France is considered as one of the largest markets for Netflix in Europe, the company hasn't exactly received a warm welcome, particularly from state-subsidized local media over fears that it will "erode the French cultural exception".
"Offering only American series will not work", said Pascal Rogard, director of France's Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers. Well aware of this, Netflix has already announced that it is financing an eight-episode television drama series called "Marseille". Written by award-winning French writer Dan Frank, the series will debut in France and elsewhere in late 2015.
Although France requires that 40 per cent of content on its radio, TV, and movies in theaters must be of French origin, Netflix does not have to comply with the rule, as its European headquarters are in Amsterdam. However, the company will have to comply with other French and European regulations. For example, they can't stream films under three years old, they'll have to pay a two per cent tax if their annual earnings exceed 10 million Euros, and more.
Aside from France, Netflix is also launching in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, and Switzerland this month. In Europe, the service is already available in the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands.