Reed Hastings traveled to Rome to open Netflix’s new Italian headquarters in an elegant building just off the famous Via Veneto of “La Dolce Vita” – and the Roman rain gods made sure they knew that he was there.
Ominous dark clouds interspersed with flashes of sunshine had hovered over Netflix’s hour-long outdoor presentation of a rich slate of Italian Originals, headlined by a high-end serial adaptation of the Italian novel. classic “The Leopard”. Yet the weather had somehow held its own.
Until, that is, a minute after Hastings took the stage.
“Begin [in Italy] with this facility, with all the creators we have today, is such an honor, especially since I feel the first drop of rain,” said the founder and co-CEO of Netflix.
As it began to rain, Hastings recalled the fact that 20 years ago when his wife and children moved to Rome while he remained in the United States as head of what was then a DVD mail-out business, he came to visit them.
“At the end of this year, we had so many great memories,” he said, as umbrellas were handed out to guests. “And then 15 years ago [Netflix co-CEO] Ted Sarandos came here on vacation and he called me and said, ‘Enough with DVDs, we need to get into streaming,’ Hastings added.
“We then talked about developing our Italian membership because, one day, we would produce content here in Italy.”
Hastings revealed that the launch of the Rome office was actually a celebration of the country’s nearly 5 million subscribers.
“Netflix’s dream is to support the creation of content everywhere and share it everywhere in the world. Here in Italy, we are growing with everything we do, not only with premium films, but also with incredible series,” said Hastings.
“We want to do all kinds of unique content, not just supporting the establishment producers. We are also looking for new voices, to share them all over the world. That’s what’s really unique about Netflix.
Guests were then escorted inside the neoclassical building known as Villino Rattazzi for a light lunch. They were asked to remember the director’s chairs they sat on, all with Netflix logos.
A few minutes later, it stopped raining and the Roman sky cleared up again.
Netflix’s Italian office – which has around 70 staff working in a variety of roles, from production and marketing to voice acting – follows similar bases in the UK, France, Spain, Poland and the Netherlands. . The Dutch outpost, however, remains the streamer’s main headquarters for Europe, West Asia, and Africa.
Netflix’s top executives based in Italy include Eleonora Andreatta, known as Tinny, who joined public broadcaster RAI in 2020 and directs Italian original series; non-fiction chef Giovanni Bossetti; and international original film director Sara Furio.
The Hastings Roman opening comes just weeks after Netflix reported a net loss of 200,000 subscribers in the first three months of 2022 and forecast a drop of another 2 million in the second quarter, citing various challenges including the behavior of password sharing among over 100 million households that do. not pay for the service.
The company is also being sued by shareholders who claim the platform misled investors about declining subscriber growth over the six months, leading to a massive drop in its share price.