It will be the U.S. streaming giant’s fourth European outpost, after its already-established offices in Amsterdam and London and the one planned for Paris. The announcement Monday of the new bureau, which will bow sometime next year, came less than three months after Netflix unveiled plans to establish a 22,000-square-meter production hub outside Madrid dedicated mainly to Spanish-language projects.
“With the recent commitment to a production hub in Spain, and our level of investment in local originals ramping up significantly, we have decided to open a Madrid office next year to complement the activities of the hub and support our increasing business in the region,” said Erik Barmack, Netflix VP of international originals, who is in Madrid for the premiere of new Spanish original series “Elite,” which will be released globally on Friday..
The plan will see some of Netflix’s existing Amsterdam-based employees relocating to the Spanish capital. Hastings’ announcement of a Paris bureau last week was accompanied by the unveiling of seven new French series and movie projects as well as the news that the company had agreed to pay a 2% levy on annual revenues in France.
The launch of an office in Spain will spark inevitable speculation that Netflix might be ready to cut a similar deal with film authorities in Spain, one of the few countries in Europe which obliges its TV operators not only to screen a majority of European programs but invest part of their income in local or other European movies and TV production.
Spain’s industry, like its French counterpart, has been clamoring for a level playing field with regard to investment obligations.
The decision to establish a production hub outside Madrid, which was announced in July, rolls off the phenomenal success of “Money Heist” (“La Casa de Papel”), created by Spain’s Alex Pina and Esther Martínez Lobato, which Netflix declared in its first-quarter results to be its most-watched non English-language series ever. The U.S streaming giant has since then struck an exclusive production deal with Pjna and Martínez Lobato’s Vancouver Media production house.
Also in July, Netflix struck a first-look deal on TV dramas from network Atresmedia, co-producers of “Money Heist,” taking in two of the broadcast network’s 2018 smash hits, “Fariña” and “La Catedral del Mar.”