In its annual report filed Monday, the streaming-video company said that it anticipates "a substantial expansion" in Europe in late 2014. Last month, the company had previously disclosed its plan to move deeper into Europe, one of the most Internet-connected parts of the world, as it reported fourth-quarter earnings. However, Netflix hadn't specified timing or other details of the rollout.
International growth is essential for Netflix, especially as its services becomes more common in the US and, thus, more difficult to keep growing briskly. Analysts were largely expecting the European push to come later in the year, given the work necessary secure rights. Raising the rating on Netflix last week, analysts at Morgan Stanley noted that unlike many of the international regions Netflix has entered thus far, those in the next wave are large and full of high-speed broadband users, adding that the opportunity in Germany, France, Spain, and Italy is nearly the same size as the US.
In the most recent quarter, Netflix's international subscriber base expanded by 1.7 million members to 10.93 million, slightly more than it forecast. By comparison, the company has a total of 33.4 million domestic members.
Expansion overseas topped Netflix's investment priorities last year. It launched in the Netherlands in 2013, and the service already blanketed Latin America. It also operates in the UK, Ireland, and the Nordic countries.