Netflix Launches Service in the U.K., Ireland9 Jan, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Rival Amazon-owned LoveFilm cuts introductory price to its streaming service launched last month
As expected, Netflix Jan. 9 formally bowed streaming service in the United Kingdom and Ireland — the last planned international expansion for the rental icon.
In a blog post, Neil Hunt, chief product officer at Netflix, said the service will cost $8.89 a month (6.99 euros), following a one-month free trial. Consumers can sign up for a free month’s subscription via Facebook in the countries.
At launch, Netflix is offering films and TV programs from All3Media, the BBC, CBS, Channel 4's 4oD, Disney UK & Ireland, ITV, Lionsgate UK, MGM, Miramax, Momentum Pictures, NBCUniversal, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 20th Century Fox and Viacom International Media Networks.
Selections include The Expendables and Paul Blart: Mall Cop; TV shows "Breaking Bad," "24" and "90210"; previous full seasons of U.K. favorites, including "Top Gear," "The Inbetweeners" and "Torchwood"; and a wide range of documentaries, arthouse films and classics, including The 39 Steps, The Aviator, Man on Wire, The Men Who Stare at Goats, The Princess Bride and Once.
“Our catalog is full of complete TV programs such as 'The Only Way is Essex,' 'Prison Break,' and 'Damages' (watch from the pilot episode all the way through the last complete season) and great films such as 3:10 to Yuma, Blitz and The English Patient, with new content added continuously,” Hunt wrote.
Separately, rival Amazon-owned LoveFilm Jan. 9 cut the monthly introductory price of its December launched LoveFilm Instant streaming service to $7.68 (4.99 pounds). LoveFilm also rents DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies by-mail to more than 1.9 millions subs in Western Europe.
Meanwhile, Netflix’s Hunt said that similar to the service in United States, Canada and Latin America, Netflix subs in the United Kingdom and Ireland have the benefit of the company’s renowned content recommendation software, which incorporates social media feedback.
“If you watch a lot of dramas and loved an inspiring, rags-to-riches tale like October Sky, you might get a set of emotional dramas based on contemporary literature titles such as Chocolat and Cider House Rules,” Hunt wrote. “Or if you prefer sci-fi, or documentaries, or have kids, Netflix will always have a wide range of interesting suggestions waiting for you.”
The news sent Netflix shares to their highest one-day jump (13.8%) in more than a year. Shares closed Jan. 9 at $98.18 per share — the highest valuation since last October.