With new competition from sites like Hulu Plus and the looming possibility of a $50 million profit cut in the event of a hike in US postage rates, everyone has been wondering how Netflix would step up the competition. Today they got their answer, as Netflix announced that they are entering the international market, preparing to expand their streaming service into Canada. Canadians will soon be able to access Netflix’s library of movies and television shows online via their PCs and connected devices.
Netflix made the announcement in a press release earlier today. Expansion in to Canada would mark the first international venture for Netflix. According to the press release, “Canadian Netflx members will be able to instantly watch a broad array of movies and TV episodes right on their TVs via a range of consumer electronics devices capable of streaming from Netflix, as well as watching on PCs and Macs.” Though the service will only be available in English at first, the company plans to expand into the French market over time.
The cost of the new Canadian Netflix subscription service has not yet been specified. It may be lower than the cost of Netflix in the United States, as the U.S. service offers both streaming and DVD by mail. The cheapest U.S. Netflix plan is currently $8.99 per month, and includes unlimited streaming and one DVD at a time. The Canadian service will be the company’s first foray into the streaming-only business, and may be cheaper as it will not include any mailed DVDs. However, we have no confirmation about the price as of yet.
According to NewTeeVee, “Netflix has more than 20,000 video titles available for streaming in the U.S., but content availability might be different in Canada due to its need to negotiate international streaming rights.” It will be interesting to see how the service performs in Canada. Interested Canadians can sign up for more information at Netflix.ca.
Netflix recently said that they projected their DVD by mail service would continue to grow until the year 2013. However, recent news of a potential postage hike in the United States has shed new light on the company’s DVD delivery business, and maybe the Canadian streaming-only service will be a good way to test out how the business would work without DVDs. If you live in Canada, do you think you may sign up for the service? What do those of you in the U.S. think about a Netflix service without DVD by mail?