Netflix International Subs to Overtake U.S. Total by 2018: Forecast

Netflix’s base of international subscribers is set to surpass its U.S. base by 2018, with the OTT service poised to eclipse 75 million international customers by 2020, according to a new forecast by IHS market.

Netflix ended Q2 with about 83 million subs worldwide – 47.13 million in the U.S., and 36.05 million outside the U.S. It expects to end Q3 with 85.48 million total subs – 47.43 million in the U.S., and 38.05 million on the international side.

IHS’s forecast comes more than eight months after Netflix gave its international strategy a significant boost by launching in 130 additional markets, with China still among the countries that are absent from the list.

IHS Markit said Western Europe will be the leading region for Netflix outside the U.S. by the end of 2016, led by strong growth in the U.K., the Netherlands and its Nordic markets. Netflix’s plans to localize service for Poland and Turkey will drive further uptake in Central Europe, the firm said.

“With the worldwide launch, Netflix has launched a platform upon which it can build and differentiate the service to fit specifics of every region in the future,” Irina Kornilova, senior analyst at IHS Technology, said in a statement. “Netflix is starting this localisation process in Poland and Turkey this year. Subscribers in these countries can expect an addition of local languages to the user interface, subtitles and dubbing of content. This will help drive new subscriber numbers dramatically.”