Netflix prepares to open Paris office as foreign investment in France soars to 11-year high

As foreign investment in France soars to an 11-year high, Netflix is the latest big international name to announce that it is preparing to open its first Paris office and strengthen its original French content.

Netflix prepares to open Paris office as foreign investment in France soars to 11-year high
Netflix is poised to open its Paris office. Photo: AFP

In total, 1,323 investment decisions by foreign companies were recorded in France in 2018 – a record level for the past 11 years.

Much of this foreign investment comes from America – 18 per cent of all new business investment in France is by American companies and much of it is in research and development. For example, Uber has just set up its first research centre outside North America in Paris to develop artificial intelligence systems.


 Cast and crew at the premiere of Netflix series “Plan Coeur” in Paris, December 2018.

The second to invest are the Germans. The rising star, though, is the United Kingdom, who are now in third place after overtaking Italy. Most of the UK's investment in 2018 was in the financial sector.

And the latest big US name to establish itself in France is Netflix, which is preparing to open its Paris office and is also keen to develop a lot more original French content.

Speaking with The Local, a Netflix representative confirmed they “will open an office in Paris this year, probably after summer. This will mean that some people from the teams that are currently based in Amsterdam (our European HQ), will move there”.

French audiences have already taken to Netflix and it is now the fastest growing market for the streaming service, currently with more than 5 million subscribers locally, and Netflix has nearly 20 French original shows in the pipeline. 

So far, it has delivered a number of films, including “Je ne suis pas un homme facile” (I am not an Easy Man) and “Paris est à Nous” (Paris is Us), and three series: political drama “Marseille,” with Gerard Depardieu; romantic comedy “Plan Coeur” (The Hook Up Plan); and the science-fiction series “Osmosis,” which competed at Series Mania in Lille, France, in March.

Making these shows in France hasn’t been easy for Netflix.

French broadcasters traditionally enjoy a lengthy production process, often taking years just to greenlight a series. But Netflix’s method is short and sweet, they have very tight development and production schedules, series can get off the ground in just a year.  

The streaming service’s goal is to “have series go into production within 12 to 18 months after it’s been commissioned from a pitch,” said Damien Couvreur, director of international originals for France, speaking with Variety magazine. This is two to three times faster than the process of a TV channel in France. He added that Netflix “can commission and greenlight a show from just a 10-page document.”One of the challenges in France is to get writers to work collectively on series rather than on their own as is more customary here. Netflix’s fast-paced model is pushing writers to be more involved. “It’s a transition. The writer’s job is no longer to just deliver a script; they become a creator who has creative control and input over all the process of the series,” said Couvreur.

Unlike in the UK, where it’s making shows with big-name talent, Netflix in France has focused on tightly budgeted, culturally grounded series showcasing a lot of newcomers and minority cast which skew to younger demos. Of the three new documentaries Netflix announced at Series Mania, one centres on the French rapper Gims, and another looks at Nicolas Anelka, the controversial former soccer prodigy.

Netflix is also aiming to ramp up its original French movies. But, unlike with their series, Netflix will not be involved in developing films, and is positioning itself instead as a co-producer. It plans to work alongside traditional partners and TV networks to access locally-made content.

Setting up in France has been the game-changer. “We used to be based in L.A., working in a different time zone. People had to pitch in English,” Couvreur said. “Years later, we’re in Paris, taking meetings in person, speaking in French. And we have seven or eight people working on acquisitions in France.”


Member comments

  1. I’m a diehard fan of Netflix and have always loved their Netflix Originals but one disappointment in using Netflix France is the lack of English subtitles on French films and shows. I loved ‘Dix Pourcent’ (‘Call My Agent’) back in the US because I could follow the series in English. Here, I’m lost (even though I’ve been working very hard to learn French). I wonder if this move will allow Netflix to provide more content and encourage them to provide English subtitles once they realize how large the expat community (and more importantly, English-speaking Netflix users) are here in France.

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How to get a summer job in France

As the summer holidays approach in France, many employers are looking for seasonal workers - so if you're looking for a summer job, here's how to go about it.

How to get a summer job in France

There are thousands of employment offers in France – a simple internet search for jobs d’été came up with numerous jobs boards offering work in France, while the government-backed Centre d’Information et de Documentation pour la Jeunesse (CIDJ) offers advice and information on all aspects of life for young people in France, including finding seasonal work and summer placements.

Sectors including agriculture, hospitality and tourism are always recruiting in the summer, seeking fruit-pickers, holiday camp workers and serving/hotel staff.

But what are the rules for people seeking summer jobs?

READ ALSO Vendange: What you really sign up for when you agree to help with the French wine harvest


Children from the age of 16 (under certain circumstances, the age limit drops to 14) who are legally resident in France can work as long as they have written authorisation from their parents or legal guardians. A model authorisation letter is available here

Those under the age of 18 cannot undertake certain jobs for health and safety reasons.

In the following circumstances, children as young as 14 or 15 can work during school holidays.

  • The holidays must last at least 14 days;
  • The child must work no more than half the days of the holiday – so, if a vacation period is two weeks, they can work for no more than one of those weeks;
  • The child is given ‘light duties’ that offer no risk to their safety, health, or development;
  • From the age of 15 and if the child has completed their troisieme education, a minor can register for an apprenticeship. 


Salary is usually paid monthly and will have a payslip. For those aged 18 and over, pay will be at least equal to the minimum wage.

 For those aged 14 to 17, who have less than six months’ professional experience, the minimum allowed rate is 80 percent of the minimum wage. For those aged 17 to 18, the rate rises to a minimum of 90 percent of France’s minimum wage.

  • The minimum wage in France is currently €10.85 gross per hour (€1,645.58 gross per month based on a 35-hour week);
  • the employment contract is fixed-term and can take different forms (fixed-term contract, seasonal employment contract, temporary employment contract, etc);
  • Seasonal employees are subject to the same obligations as the other employees of the company and have access to the same benefits (canteens, breaks, etc.).

Under 18s have certain additional protections:

  • between the ages of 14 and 16, during school holidays, employees on any contract cannot work more than 35 hours per week nor more than 7 hours per day;
  • They cannot work at night;
  • Those aged 14 to under 16 working during their school holidays can only be assigned to work which is not likely to harm their safety, their health or development.

Right to work in France

If you’re a French citizen or hold permanent residency in France then you have the right to work, but for foreigners there are extra restrictions.

Anyone who holds the passport of a EU/EEA country or Switzerland, is free to work in France or to travel to France seeking work without needing a visa or work permit.

Most other people will need permission to work in France – even if it’s only for a short period or for casual work such as grape-picking. Depending on your country of origin you may need a visa – everything you need to know about that is here.

In addition to the visa, you may also need a work permit, which is the responsibility of the employer.  To employ anyone in France for less than 90 days, an employer must get a temporary work permit – before the prospective employee applies for a short stay visa. This permit is then sent to the embassy at which the employee is applying for a visa.

If you come from countries including the UK, USA and Canada you can spend up to 90 days in France without a visa – but you may still need a work (convention d’accueil) if you want to work while you are here.

READ ALSO Six official websites to know if you’re planning to work in France

Certain countries have specific ‘seasonal worker’ visas on offer, for certain sectors which allows – for example – Canadians to come to France and work the ski season. 

Cash-in-hand jobs

Certain sectors which have a lot of casual workers – for example seasonal fruit-picking – do have cash-in-hand jobs, known in France as marché noir (black market) or simply travail au black (working on the black, or working illegally). 

This is of course illegal and working this way carries risks – as well as the possibility of losing your job if labour inspectors turn up you are also in a vulnerable position. If your employer suddenly decides not to pay you, or make unexpected deductions from your wages, there is very little you can do about it since you won’t have any kind of work contract.