Netflix this morning announced plans for expansion into its first international market, with the upcoming launch of a streaming-only subscription service available in Canada later this fall. Like Netflix’s streaming service in the U.S., the Canadian service will allow subscribers to watch a wide variety of movies and TV shows through PCs as well as a number of connected devices.
Netflix has yet to specify the cost of the subscription service, except to say that Canadian subscribers will be able to stream an unlimited number of movies for “one low monthly price.” In the U.S., Netflix subscriptions start at $9 a month for its introductory service plan, which includes unlimited streaming and one mailed DVD at a time. The new Canadian offering will be the first time that Netflix has made its service available in a streaming-only fashion.
Netflix is betting big on streaming, with the expectation that its DVD-by-mail business will peak in 2013. To that end, Netflix has been making its streaming service available on a number of connected consumer electronics devices, including game consoles, TVs, Blu-ray players and broadband-connected set-top boxes. Altogether, Netflix expects its streaming service to be available on more than 100 different consumer electronics devices by the end of the year.
Netflix has long said it would expand into new markets with its Watch Instantly streaming service, with CEO Reed Hastings saying on the company’s earnings calls that international expansion would happen sometime in 2010. The only question was in which market the company would introduce that service. Those plans became a little more real earlier this year when Netflix posted a job listing seeking a Director of Product Management to “help drive its international expansion efforts.”
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. The service will be launched first in English, with plans to add French language capability at some point in the future. Canadians that are interested in signing up for the service when it launches can go to Netflix.ca to sign up and receive notice when the service becomes available in their home market later this fall.
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