netflix-logoNetflix has officially announced its intention to significantly expand in Europe. The move had been expected, and will be welcome news to international sales folk here in Cannes who roundly told me before the market that they were anxious for services like Netflix to penetrate further. The streaming service did not provide a time frame, but said it will move into Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium and Luxembourg later this year. Netflix is already in the UK and this expansion will notably move it into Germany which has the world’s fourth biggest population of broadband users. However, Enders Analysis’ Ian Maude told the BBC this morning, “Germany potentially could be quite a difficult market as it has low pay-TV penetration and seemingly low willingness to pay.” Meanwhile, in France Netflix has been having conversations with the government and the local industry for months on how it will enter the market. Its European base will be in Luxembourg which could help it skirt French regulations that require TV providers to invest heavily in local production. Moving into the fiercely protected territory is ornery in part due to a complex film-windows chronology that prohibits movies from appearing on monthly SVOD services until three years after a theatrical release. There is no such protection for TV series, but Netflix’s House Of Cards already airs on local pay-TV leader Canal Plus, which would see the service’s arrival as competition. Netflix said in a statement that its content in the various new territories will include Hollywood, local and global TV series and movies. The service now has over 48 million subscribers in more than 40 countries. The continued European expansion follows the 2012 launch of Netflix in the UK and Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Last year, it launched in The Netherlands. More details on pricing and the rollout will be made available later, Netflix said.