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Netflix: ‘We Have Pulled Ahead’ of LoveFilm in Streaming

24 Jul, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Despite having launched a streaming service in the United Kingdom and Ireland just six months ago, Netflix says it has surpassed London-based LoveFilm Instant to become the leader in Europe’s nascent subscription video-on-demand market.

LoveFilm Instant is the SVOD unit bowed by Amazon-owned LoveFilm last December. LoveFilm’s by-mail rental disc subscriber base is at about 2 million members.

In a letter to shareholders accompanying second-quarter fiscal results, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells said Netflix streaming now has 1 million members in the United Kingdom and Ireland, putting it ahead of LoveFilm Instant.

“We believe we have pulled ahead of LoveFilm in every important streaming-related metric,” Hastings and Wells wrote. “Going forward, competing effectively with Sky is our core and substantial challenge.”

With more than 10 million subscribers, Britain’s largest satellite TV operator (called BSkyB, or “Sky”) just released additional details on an SVOD platform it is positioning to compete against Netflix and LoveFilm.

Sky is riding a wave of popular publicity this month after it sponsored a professional cycling team that produced the first-ever British winner in the Tour de France bicycle race. With the team favored to deliver a gold medal at next week’s Olympic Games in London, Queen Elizabeth July 23 formally acknowledged Tour winner Bradley Wiggins.

Separately, Netflix says it is in 10% of all Canadian households and has generated more than 1 million subscribers in Latin America — a region with 10 times the population base of Canada.

“Latin America remains a huge opportunity for us,” Hastings and Wells wrote.

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