The over-the-top streaming service market in the United States might be crowded – and getting more so all the time – but the undisputed international leader remains Netflix. The big red streaming service boasts subscribers in over 190 countries and has even made some progress getting its original programming licensed in China, one of the most difficult regulatory environments in the world for content. Now, Netflix continues its march towards global domination with the hiring of a new Vice President of Global Policy, a new position which shows Netflix isn’t content with leading America alone in subscribers.
Netflix’s VP of Global Policy is responsible for overseeing the creation of policies and regulations related to issues of media ownership, net neutrality, competition, tax law, and other issues which vary country to country. According to the job listing on Netflix’s website, the position is somewhat of a diplomatic affair involving careful negotiations with governmental bodies:
This role will involve monitoring various legislative and rulemaking initiatives and determining the appropriate level of Netflix’s involvement. The position will involve advocating before governments and regulatory bodies across the globe and developing analysis and interpretation of public policy issues potentially impacting the company. The successful candidate will have at least 15+ years of public policy and government relations experience, preferably covering multiple jurisdictions outside the United States.
The announcement of this new position comes on the heels of Netflix’s massive expansion in Europe, hiring 400 new multilingual service operators and building a state-of-the art operations center for its African, Middle Eastern, and European operations. However, the timing is conspicuous given the recent controversy over Netflix’s Cannes premiere of two of its films. The streaming service ruffled the feathers of film festival organizers and French theater unions by releasing films at Cannes which skirted French copyright laws somewhat. While the streaming service seemed to mostly ignore the Cannes controversy, this job opening might suggest there was more trouble behind the scenes than Netflix let on.