Netflix doubles original productions from Europe, Middle East and Africa

From a supernatural drama set in Jordan to a Turkish series called “The Protector,” Netflix is nearly doubling its film production in Europe, the Middle East and Africa — with over 100 projects originating in the region in 2018.

The US-headquartered company said regional film production now spans 16 countries — including Lebanon, Turkey and Israel — with 35,000 people working on local productions. These include “Mortel” from France, “The Wave” from Germany and comedy “Turn Up Charlie,” starring Idris Elba.

Investment in Europe, the Middle East and Africa has “nearly doubled” that made in 2017, Netflix said. The company says it will spend up to $8 billion on global TV shows and movies in 2018. Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO, said people could now watch Netflix “anywhere in the world — except China.”

He said Netflix had worked with pay-TV platforms such as the Dubai-based OSN and Sky to make the service available on set-top boxes. Netflix on Monday revealed that it had added 7.4 million subscribers in the first quarter of the year, a 50 percent increase on the same quarter last year, outpacing analyst expectations. Yet subscriber figures for the Middle East and North Africa region were modest as at the end of 2016, when it had just 137,000 subscribers in the region, according to data from IHS Markit.