On a recent Friday, Reed Hastings, the billionaire co-founder of Netflix, walked into a Denny’s restaurant in San Jose, California and ordered a steak. The meal was meant to be a celebration. Netflix had just surpassed 100 million subscribers, and Mr. Hastings was marking the occasion the same way he had done years earlier, when the company had reached far more humble milestone: one million subscribers.
Hastings published a Facebook photo of himself at the Denny’s, fork in hand, along with the hashtag “#superstitious,” a sign that Mr. Hastings hopes to return to the restaurant in the near future to celebrate more milestones of subscriber growth. But if he is to do so, much of that growth will have to come from yet-to-be-fully-tapped markets around the world, including in Germany.
While Netflix refuses to make public detailed statistics about its subscribers, analysts say that the company’s explosive growth in the US market has plateaued. That makes markets like Germany particularly important as Netflix looks abroad to continue its rapid expansion. Already in 2015, Mr. Hastings set a target of 12 million customers in Germany within seven years.