Striking partnership deals with pay-TV and telco operators has helped Netflix take its subscriber numbers “to the next level”, says Maria Ferreras, Vice President of Business Development EMEA.

Conceived 21 years ago as a DVD rental service, streaming service Netflix today has 130 million subscribers in 190 countries with 43% year-on-year revenue growth – and shows no sign of slowing down.

Ensuring easy access: Maria Ferreras

Ensuring easy access: Maria Ferreras

Speaking in a headline IBC session titled “The Next Chapter in Netflix’s Growth Story”, Maria Ferreras, Vice President of Business Development EMEA said a key reason for the company’s growth is the “resilient partnerships” it has struck pay-TV and telco operators.

The deals, she said, have helped the streaming service “take it to the next level in terms of [subscriber] numbers and countries”.

She added: “Making Netflix available for everyone is [about] ensuring easy access in using the device and the television is very important in creating these partnerships. It really is integral.”

This month, Netflix announced a new deal with Liberty Global which will see Netflix app integrated into the cable firm’s devices in more than 30 countries.

It also has a new European deal with Sky, which sees the pay-TV firm bundle the Netflix app into a subscription pack available through the Sky Q platform.

Ferreras said: “The impact you can create in working together…is amazing. Today we cover Europe, the Middle East and have now expanded into Africa. We have more than 50 local partners in 25 different countries and this continues to expand.”

Integrating Netflix’s business and user interfaces with other companies requires “collaboration and patience”, admitted Ferreras.

“We’re working with Sky to ensure the UX is good for the consumer. That is a challenge when sometimes you need to comprise while keeping the experience consistent.”

“Our intention is to create experiences the consumer can feel at ease with.”

Making the Netflix experience personalised across all devices is the “critical point for us,” said Ferreras. “The next big thing is how our suggestions [match] exactly what you want to watch.”

With 2,000 hours of original content in 4K and high dynamic range (HDR) and over 35,000 people working in local productions across original content in 16 countries in 16 different languages, the Netflix powerhouse continues to grow. It has 100 programmes under development in the EMEA region alone.

Ferreras said the US market has been growing massively with 52% household penetration “which continues to keep growing”.