Netflix is moving up the property ladder. With international ambitions key to its growth plans, the U.S. streamer is opening a new, bigger Europe, Middle East and Africa headquarters in Amsterdam that can accommodate twice as many staffers as its current base there.
The new EMEA headquarters, scheduled to open in the beginning of 2020, is one of several new outposts the SVOD giant is setting up in Europe. The first staffers have moved into Netflix’s new digs in Berlin, and another office will open in Paris later this year or early next. There are also tentative plans to open up shop in Italy.
Netflix’s London base, a low-profile operation with no signage out front, has also been expanded. The company has taken an additional floor in its office building in the city’s Fitzrovia district, Variety has learned.
In Amsterdam, Netflix will move its current EMEA HQ from its location on Stadhouderskade, near the Heineken brewery and the Rijksmuseum, to a new setup in Karperstraat, in the south of the city, near the old Olympic stadium.
Netflix confirmed the move, which was first reported in local media. The company currently has 400 employees based in Amsterdam. The new office will be able to accommodate 800, which the company expects will “be sufficient for the coming years.” Having more content execs based in Europe will mean quicker “decision-making power on the ground” and “close connections to Europe-based talent and creatives,” Netflix said, adding that the office will largely be staffed by new hires rather than relocated employees from other countries.
The new HQ will be a hub for both global and local content. Netflix has moved into local originals in the Netherlands with series such as “Undercover” and “Ares.” It is also co-producing its first feature.
Netflix has already set up a massive studio in Spain, and is taking over most of Shepperton Studios in the U.K. It does not yet have an office in Italy, where authorities launched an investigation earlier this month to determine whether its revenues from local subscribers should be taxed, even though it runs its Italian operation out of the Netherlands. Separately, CEO Reed Hastings told a news conference in Rome that Netflix would be opening an office in Italy.
The Netherlands has long been a creative hub in the TV biz, with the likes of Endemol and John de Mol’s Talpa putting it on the international map, notably in the global formats business. The action has steadily moved from Hilversum – dubbed “Hillywood” – to Amsterdam.
A favorable tax regime is a big factor in Amsterdam’s favor in terms of global companies looking for a well-situated European base. Netflix said that traditional Dutch values aligned with its own. “We have become very accustomed to the Dutch openness and directness over the past years, which is a great culture fit for our company and has supported our growth,” the U.S. streamer said.