video-streaming-industryThe biggest success in the world of streaming entertainment is now poised to expand even further. Netflix, the world’s largest subscription service, will soon be offering its programming in six European nations, including Germany and France. The company established a presence in Canada back in 2010 and followed that up with expansions into Latin America, Scandinavia, Britain, and the Netherlands. But until now, much of Europe has remained untouched. Recently though, the company announced its intention to move into France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, and Luxembourg. The move seems obvious, but the timing may just be now or never.

Netflix must act before its direct competitors Amazon Prime and HBO Go beat them to it. Currently, HBO Go competes with Netflix in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Norway. Amazon Prime Instant Video is available in Britain and Germany.

But the move comes with several public relations and consumer communication hurdles. Sure, Europeans are comfortable with pay TV, in many cases even more comfortable than Americans. But the regulations across the pond are much different than they are in the U.S.

Netflix will have to format its business within Europe’s rules, developed to make it difficult to challenge domestic media. And when it gets over these hurdles, it will have to maximize its impact by crafting selection libraries that will appeal to the local market.

But Netflix management has already learned some hard lessons about consumer PR. Remember the ill advised attempt to separate the streaming and mailed rental services – and expect customers to pay for both? After massive consumer uproar, Netflix managed a quick course correction. Now, instead of being known for that gaffe, it is known for its standout programming like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards.

Time will tell if Netflix can parlay that success into making a cultural – and marketplace – impact in continental Europe. Critics of the move are already saying shows such as House of Cards won’t play well – if at all – in some markets. But that will not prevent the company from creating shows for markets where its American hits can’t succeed.

Do that, and Netflix will have the leverage and market foothold it needs to create a foundation for success in these new markets and beyond.

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.

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