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Report: Netflix, Vodafone in Talks for Streaming Access

17 Apr, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Netflix reportedly is in talks with Vodafone about offering the British telecom’s subscribers free access to streamed movies and TV shows.

Netflix, which is in a battle with Amazon Prime Instant Video for market share in the United Kingdom and Europe, would give Vodafone subs free streamed content for a trial period followed a subscription offer, according to Bloomberg, which cited sources familiar with the preliminary negotiations.

Last year, Netflix inked a deal with Virgin Media enabling the cabler’s subscribers using TiVo set-top boxes to directly link to the SVOD service through a separate subscription. The deal is said to have upped Netflix’s U.K. digital market penetration 5%, according to tracking firm Mediabug.

Vodafone, which is looking to offer entertainment and applications on both its fixed and mobile networks, last year signed content deals with Sky Sports and Spotify music service.

Free SVOD service for a specific period is no different a strategy than what SiriusXM employs with the automobile industry. For example, a recent car purchase might include a free 90-day subscription to the satellite radio operator, followed by a $4.99 a month offer for an additional 180 days. Thereafter, the fee increases to the regular $14.99 monthly rate unless canceled.

“We have all kinds of arrangements with all kinds of operators, and we have nothing to say until we announce them,” Netflix spokesman Jonathan Friedland said.

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