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Netflix expands in Europe, comes to Germany

US Internet video service company Netflix has announced it will start operating in many more European nations, including Germany. The firm has long aimed to broaden its international audience despite fierce competition.

California-based video streaming service Netflix said Wednesday it would start operating in six additional countries in Europe towards the end of the year, including Germany and France.

The company failed to name a specific date for the launch, but made it clear that it was determined to further boost its international audience.

Netflix already has some 48 million subscribers, with nearly 13 million of them outside the US.

German market peculiarities

In Germany, the US Internet company will face fierce competition from a number of rivals that are already well-established in the local market, including Maxdome, Watchever, and Amazon's streaming service.

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Analysts said the success of Netflix in Europe's biggest economy would largely depend on how much customers would have to pay for its service. The company only recently raised its streaming prices for new customers by about $1 (0.73 euros) per month, boosting the price to $9 per month in the US.

A potential trap might be Germany's low base of pay-TV users, stemming from a general unwillingness to pay for media content. In addition, Netflix will have to provide a sufficient percentage of dubbed material for a nation many of whose viewers are unwilling to settle for subtitles.

hg/nz (dpa, AP)

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