Netflix’s planned conquest of Western Europe gained a big boost today from France’s largest telecommunications company, Orange. The CEO for Orange announced that the company has reached an agreement with Netflix to distribute the video-streaming giant in France via the company’s set-top boxes, according to Advanced Television.
Executive officer Stephane Richard explained during a press conference in Paris today that Orange will integrate Netflix into its set-top box services beginning in November, according to Bloomberg, putting the service in the hands of a large portion of its 10 million subscribers. Bouygues Telecom, a major rival of Orange, was apparently the first French operator to tap Netflix for distribution/marketing in the country. Bouygues also plans to kick off its delivery of Netflix content in November.
The telco’s announcement comes just 15 days after Netflix made its debut in the new territory as part of its plunge into six countries in the region, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, and, France.
Netflix’s expansion into French territory seems to have yielded encouraging results already, garnering a fairly hefty 100,000 subscribers, though that number is likely buoyed at least partially by customers who’ve taken advantage of Netflix’s one-month free trial (numbers from mid-October and on should provide a more accurate perspective).
For comparison’s sake, French daily Le Figaro points out that, three years after launching its similarly structured subscription-based VOD service Canalplay, Canal+ has mustered up a mere 520,000 subscribers, or roughly 15,000 new customers per month. The rate at which Netflix has added subscribers is more than nine times that of Canal+’s.
This all seems to be falling perfectly in line with the goal set by Netflix CEO’s Reed Hastings of landing the streaming service in a third of TV households in its satellite countries within seven years of each respective country’s official Netflix launch. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the leading video-streamer’s overseas endeavors, and will provide updates with any significant developments accordingly.