Netflix is staffing up for a big European push as soon as the second half of 2011.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said back in December that the company would consider expanding to Europe and Asia once the results of its Canadian operation, which it launched last fall, became clear. Several weeks ago, Endgadget noticed that Netflix was hiring multilingual specialists for its customer support centre in Oregon.
Now sources say that the company has begun hiring high-level staff to oversee its European business, and the company has multiple job listings in its Los Gatos, California, headquarters that appear to be related to a European launch.
A listing for a director of global marketing communications says the expansion into Canada has been successful, and gives an explicit date of the second half of 2011 for further international expansion. “Early Canadian results are encouraging, and Netflix is tracking to be profitable in Canada late in 2011. If we continue to gain confidence in a large return on our Canadian investment, and we have confidence in the financial return on further geographic expansion, then we will look to grow beyond the U.S. and Canada in the second half of 2011.”
A listing for a senior online marketing manager says the company is looking for staffers to “set up and then manage all aspects of online advertising (paid search, banner display, affiliates) for a particular country/region” and is looking for people fluent in “Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazilian and European), and Spanish (Latin American and European).”
Other listings include bilingual training supervisors and quality assurance specialists with fluency in a bunch of European languages, and software engineers to build a “scalable and globally available payments system” and “streamline integration with payment processors globally.”
A big European push would put Netflix into direct competition with Lovefilm, the DVD-by-mail company that Amazon bought earlier this year. Some Lovefilm execs were hoping to expand into the US, but the company’s VCs thought it was too big of a risk.