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Netflix sees Mexico profitability in two years as Latin America launches

September 12, 2011 |  3:34 pm

Netflix Reed Hastings

Netflix is now available in 43 Latin American countries but expects to lose money there for a while.

At a news conference Monday in Mexico City, Netflix Inc. Chief Executive Reed Hastings celebrated the online video service's launch in that country along with the rest of Central America and the Caribbean, except for Cuba. It debuted in Brazil on Sept. 5 and the rest of South America on Sept. 7 and 9.

Hastings said at the news conference that it would probably take two years for the company to reach profitability in Mexico. "We are going to lose money for a while," he said, according to Reuters. "It will take a lot of subscribers to get to profitability."

The company is charging $7.99 in Latin America, the same price it charges for Internet streaming in the U.S., or the local currency equivalent. It's not offering DVDs by mail, an option available only to Americans.

Netflix launched in its first foreign market, Canada, in September 2010. Since then, the company has grown fast enough in that country that the company said its Canadian operation could break even or earn a small profit in the quarter that ends Sept. 30.

This year it is expected to move to Europe, starting with Great Britain and Spain, according to people familiar with the matter not authorized to discuss Netflix's plans publicly.

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-- Ben Fritz

Photo: Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings in Mexico City on Monday. Credit: Netflix.

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