Netflix has undoubtedly made a strong impression on Central and Eastern Europe in the three years since it made its debut in the region in January 2016.
This is particularly true in the larger markets such as Poland, where it quickly realised that the best way to succeed was through localisation. It began in earnest in September 2016, when 80% of the service’s content was dubbed or subtitled into Polish. Then a year later, it was announced that Netflix would produce its first original series in the Polish language.
Alongside this have come agreements with local partners, the first of which was with T-Mobile in late 2016.
As a result, Netflix has grown increasingly popular in the country. So much so, in fact, that as of last month it was already the second most popular on demand service after vod.pl, having seen the number of monthly users increase from almost 1.31 million to 3.36 million in only a year.
However, if we look at a smaller regional market such as neighbouring Slovakia the situation is somewhat different, certainly in terms of localisation. Broadband TV News was recently contacted by a reader to inform us that Netflix users in the country are unable to watch the service not only in the local language but also Czech, which is widely understood. Instead, they can only receive it in German, Polish, Ukrainian and Hungarian.
This contrasts with the situation in the Czech Republic, where Netflix has been rapidly increasing the number of localised titles on offer to its customers. Indeed, according to one industry source (Filmtoro.cz), as of the beginning of November 2018 the service had added nearly seven-dozen films, including blockbusters, to its output.
Hopefully it is now only a matter of time before Netflix customers in Slovakia can also watch this content.