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Netflix Gets Streaming Competitor in Argentina

10 Oct, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Telecom Argentina launches $120 million platform that gives subscribers access to more than 2,500 titles — including adult — for $11.90 a month

Netflix’s move into Latin America has rattled another competitor to act. Telecom Argentina has launched a movie streaming service called ArnetPlay that gives subscribers access to 2,500 catalog movies, TV shows and adult content.

The streaming service, which is available for $11.90 a month (50 pesos), now is available for $10 a month for six months to new subscribers.

Underscoring Hollywood’s clout no matter the distribution channel, ArnetPlay will not include new-release studio titles in the subscription program. Those titles will be available on transactional video-on-demand starting at $3.80 (16 pesos) each.

Telecom Argentina reportedly believes it can sign up 15,000 subs in the first six months and 40,000 after one year.

The streaming upstart joins another recently bowed over-the-top, or OTT, cable competitor called OnVideo from Telefónica. As in Spain, Netflix and other OTT services face their stiffest competition from online platforms offering free pirated content. In Argentina that is Cuevana.tv.

The Walt Disney Company Latin America last month said it would offer new and catalog movies and TV content to NetMovies, an upstart streaming platform in Brazil.

In a media event last week in France, Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos said services offering pirated content provide Netflix with an opportunity to roll out a superior platform with better content and user interface. He said consumers would prefer to obtain higher-quality (resolution and sound) movies and TV shows through legitimate sources, if offered a user-friendly, fairly priced alternative.

The executive cited Netflix’s launch last year in Canada — a country he said was dominated by users downloading illegally pirated movies from file-sharing platform BitTorrent. Sarandos said that since the launch of Netflix Canada last year, the service has more than 1 million paying members and has supplanted BitTorrent as the preferred source for digital content.

“We are better than free,” Sarandos said. “And that’s what we are trying to do in other territories.”


About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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