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Netflix Starts Nordic Service After Investing ’Heavily’ in Area

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Netflix Inc. started operating in Sweden today, making its debut in the Nordic region and expanding its push beyond the U.S. Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg

Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Netflix Inc., the world’s largest video-subscription service, started operating in Sweden today, making its debut in the Nordic region and expanding its push beyond the U.S.

The online service costs 79 kronor ($12) a month and includes movies and TV shows from Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros., Walt Disney Co., Sony Pictures Entertainment, and local content providers. The service goes live in Norway, Finland and Denmark later this week, Reed Hastings, chief executive officer of Los Gatos, California-based Netflix, said today in Stockholm.

Netflix, which has been streaming videos to U.S. customers since 2007, is expanding in Europe as intensifying competition weighs on growth in its home market. Its service will face rivalry from Amazon.com Inc., Time Warner Inc.’s HBO and Modern Times Group AB’s Viaplay in the Nordic region, which has a population of about 25 million.

“We’ve decided to invest heavily,” Hastings said in an interview. “We have more content here than we’ve ever had at a launch.”

Netflix, which has also expanded to Canada, Latin America and the U.K, doesn’t expect a new region to be profitable for at least the first two years, Hastings said. Original content, such as the TV show “House of Cards” and the fourth season of “Arrested Development,” will help attract customers, he said.

“In all our markets we invest for the long term and we don’t plan on breaking even in a new market in two years,” Hastings said. “Typically it will take longer than that because we keep investing in getting more content and building the best service we can.”

There is no reason for Netflix to update its forecast for a fourth-quarter loss caused by expansion costs, Hastings said. Netflix spends about $2 billion annually on content, he said.

Netflix can be accessed via computers, mobile phones, tablets and devices such as Apple Inc.’s Apple TV, Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox and Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 3.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Ewing in Stockholm at aewing5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net

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