Netflix's CEO Reed Hastings at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain on February 27, 2017.
Paul Hanna — Reuters

Netflix is bulking up its European presence.

By Tom Huddleston, Jr.
May 11, 2017

Netflix continues to ramp up in Europe.

The popular video-streaming company, which said recently it has invested more than $1.75 billion in its European productions, said on Thursday that it would create more than 400 jobs at a new European customer service hub in Amsterdam. Netflix also revealed more information about two new original series aimed at European audiences—one shot in Germany and another to be produced in France—while noting that it will announce at least six new European original series by the end of this year.

Netflix noted that its new Amsterdam-based service center—which handles customers in 11 European countries, including the U.K., the Netherlands, Finland, Norway, and Sweden—will initially employ 170 people before reaching 400 by the end of 2018.

“We are delighted to announce the creation of jobs in Europe and the opening of our new customer service hub in Amsterdam, as well as two new European original series,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said in a statement. “Europe is a creative centre for great storytelling that resonates around the world and we continue to invest in European content.”

The company’s expanded presence in the region comes as Netflix continues to invest more on licensed programming and original content in Europe, where the company said it has more than 90 original productions in the works. Last month, Netflix premiered its first-ever original series from Spain, the feminist drama Las Chicas del Cable, and the streaming site has already announced that another batch of episodes of that series are on the way.

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The two newest European series announced by Netflix include a police drama called Dogs of Berlin that will be written and produced in Germany before debuting sometime next year. (The company also reportedly has a supernatural German drama called Dark in the works.) The other new original series Netflix mentioned on Thursday is Osmosis, a sci-fi romantic drama set in Paris that will begin production in France in 2018. That show follows another high-profile French-language Netflix original series, the political drama Marseille, which is set to air its second season later this year.

“We are delighted to work with such talented French storytellers and producers for one of our next French original series,” Erik Barmack, Netflix’s vice president of international original programming, said in a statement.

Netflix’s announcement comes only a day after the organizers of France’s Cannes Film Festival announced that, after this year, Netflix will not be allowed to compete at the prestigious festival unless Netflix changes its strict stance against theatrical releases for most of its films. For the first time, Netflix has two original films in contention at this year’s festival in Cannes, but the company’s presence at the festival has been met with resistance from French cinema owners who balked at Netflix’s inclusion while arguing that the streaming company skirts French laws requiring a 36-month window between a film’s theatrical run and its online debut.

For its part, Netflix said last month that it would be willing to consider limited cinema releases for its feature films.

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