The world's leading internet entertainment service, Netflix, has announced the launch of several new foreign-language series.
Speaking to Euronews at Web Summit, the world’s biggest tech event, Netflix’s chief product officer Greg Peters discussed why they are investing in more European content: “We now have multiple data points that show we can take non-English shows, produced here in Europe... and by bringing them to the global audience that we have, in the right way, with great subtitles or great dubbing... we can build a huge global audience for these shows.”
Peters specifically announced the launch of two new shows, Alma, from Spain and Ragnarok from Norway, which will begin production in 2019.
Several other European shows are set to be aired in the later months of 2018, including 1983, (Netflix’s first original Polish series), Dogs of Berlin (German), Plan Coeur (France) and Baby (Italy). All of the titles will be available to all Netflix clients, in all of its 190 countries.
Despite its investment in European content, Netflix has spoken out against new EU plans to enforce subscription streaming services to devote a minimum of 30% of their catalogue to European works. In the company's latest earning's report, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings argued: "We'd prefer to focus on making our service great for our members, which would include producing local content, rather than on satisfying quotas".
The video-on-demand platform is known for using the massive amounts of data it acquires about its subscribers' viewing habits to help identify holes in programming and create content that fills those gaps. Peters talked about the example of German supernatural thriller Dark: “There’s a bunch of people around the world that saw it that had never seen a German TV show before… We could connect the aspects of that show, we knew they would like those aspects and we can promote it in the right way. Then all of a sudden they are watching a German show that they never thought they would have watched before.”
Peters also spoke to Euronews about other Netflix innovations in the pipeline, including how to make suggested content more adapted to the viewer’s situation. Using its wealth of information about what people like to watch on specific days of the week, Netflix will make adapted suggestions for a Tuesday night or a Sunday afternoon.
“We want to evolve the product experience to capture more of that intentionality and be able to put the right content in front of you,” said Peters.