Netflix is finally available in the Netherlands. In this case study, we assess the impact of the launch during the first five days of operation. The massive online ad campaign of the service is already beginning to shake the local video consumption business, where up until recently, Pirate Bay ruled supreme.
Netflix entered the Dutch market with all guns blazing and dominated the online ad landscape in the country. In terms of unique exposures, 30.5% of the panelists in Wakoopa’s consumer panel Trailspot (4746 active during the period) saw Netflix-themed ads. The commercial activities prompted 12,3% of those exposed to the ads to visit the Netflix website. As a result, Netflix outperformed not only Pathe-Thuis and Videoland, but also a collection of Pirate Bay Proxies.
The good traffic figures come alongside an impressive conversion rate – on average 14,4% of the Trailspot panelists that visited the Netflix website in the last five days have opted to sign-up and give the monthly trial of the service a go. Currently, the only problem that the tech giant appears to be experiencing is gaining traction on mobile, as the Android app of the local competitor Ziggo is significantly outperforming the Netflix Android app.
The actual impact of the launch, however, will only become evident next month, when the initial trials are over and Netflix measures up against the Pirate Proxies in providing access to the autumn TV show programming in the US. If Netflix cannot keep up, torrent downloading will continue to flourish.
It is basic economics – the torrents are free, Netflix, albeit quite competitively priced, is not. To warrant its subscription fee (7.99-11.99 per month), Netflix must be offering a performance premium over the proxies. The beautiful and user friendly design of the site is a good start, but it will not be enough as many members of the online streaming market have already noticed how limited Netflix’s content library in the Netherlands is.
Here, Netflix cannot simply rely on having the moral high ground in content delivery as it does in the United States. In Europe, torrents are not frowned upon and Netflix has an interesting autumn to attempt to change the mentality of many Dutch consumers that are still not used to paying for video.