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NetFlix announces launch of streaming service in the UK
Monday 24 October 2011 12:50:33 by Sebastien Lahtinen

NetFlix has this morning announced its intention to launch a service in the UK to provide streamed movies and other premium content. It is expected to launch in Spain in January and expand into the UK in 'early 2012'. It is setting itself in competition to LOVEFiLM (now owned by Amazon) and other services already operating in the UK.

At present, the business model has invariably been focussed on delivering content by post on DVDs, but as broadband speeds improve and more televisions are 'Internet enabled', it is expected that more and more of us will be consuming digital content online, making such a service an attractive alternative to those offered by Sky+, Virgin Media and BT Vision.

"Netflix is very unlikely to dominate the UK market but it may shake it up. The endless wrangling and delays around the YouView platform contrast strikingly with Netflix?s rapid ascent and now its global rollout. In the short term Netflix may be the catalyst that accelerates the rollout of IP-delivered premium content to UK audiences, but it may not itself be the main beneficiary of that trend."

Nick Thomas, Principal Analyst for TV & Digital Media, Informa Telecoms & Media

In the past, many online movie rental services were based on limits or per-rental charges which have also discouraged widespread adoption, whilst DVD rental services have offered a number of options including a subscription with unlimited rentals. NetFlix's plans include a subscription option with unlimited streaming, encouraging users to subscribe.

Of course, streaming high quality cotent requires a reasonable Internet connection, so the service may only be attractive to those living in areas with faster broadband services, leaving those in the most rural areas continuing to rely on DVD rental services instead.

Comments

Posted by epyon over 5 years ago
Great

hopefully they will have decent HD movie streams.
Posted by DougM over 5 years ago
Let's hope the Apple TV is updated to allow Netflix access; as it does in the USA.
Posted by PhilCoates over 5 years ago
Another 'advance' which is not available to a large minority. At least the reporter has the good grace to recognise such.

Renting DVDs is so last years thing!!!

Posted by fibrebunny over 5 years ago
The subscription option could be interesting. Depends upon the quality of the streams and HD content not to mention pricing of course.
Posted by otester over 5 years ago
Still doesn't beat torrent/usenet.
Posted by kevin42 over 5 years ago
Well it might not beat Usenet... But it is a step in the right direction... away from the medieval marketing and distribution models currently in place.

But what about bandwidth at peak hours? Expect severe congestion even if you are lucky enough to have the bandwidth...
Posted by New_Londoner over 5 years ago
Good to see an ever growing range of options to get legal content.
Posted by chrysalis over 5 years ago
its very popular in america, so will be interesting if the uk population accepts modernised content delivery.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Someone outside the UK reading comments could be forgiven for thinking that we have no online video at this time...
Posted by Saurus over 5 years ago
"Someone outside the UK reading comments could be forgiven for thinking that we have no online video at this time..."

Well for many parts (large swathes of the country outside of major cities) we dont! and most probably wont have in the next 5-10 years if the current poor planning & development is sustained!
Posted by PhilCoates over 5 years ago
"Someone outside the UK reading comments could be forgiven for thinking that we have no online video at this time... "

Welcome to my world. No iPlayer, Youtube or any other streaming service either.

By the time my local County Council have finished 'consulting' and appointing a 'partner' to use their BDUK money, there will be precious little of the money left or its will have been devalued to such an extent that its worthless.

Honestly, its so frustrating to be asked to demonstrate a 'need' for faster BB when we can't get it at all!
Posted by m0aur over 5 years ago
Thanks to Unblock-Us, it, along with Pandora is already popular in the U.K. Free Trial - http://unblock-us.com/
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
While I do not deny that there are some ~12% of homes in the UK with less than 2Mbps, the no-one in rural areas can do HD or SD video is an over statement.

For those worried about councils wasting money on consultancy, make use of FOI requests to see how much is being spent.
Posted by PhilCoates over 5 years ago
Andrue

I completely agree that there are rural areas with great service. Mine (unfortunately) is not one of them.I have no available BB via copper and my neighbours get 385kbps!!

I belong I suspect to a minority of users of the internet. I am more than happy to pay for what I use and pay a premium price for what I consider to be an essential of modern life.

The dive to the bottom in terms of pricing from the ISPs must cut their margins so tightly that its no surprise there is little appetite for ANY telco to want to move into the areas where the 12% you mention live.
Posted by zyborg47 over 5 years ago
I will stay with my DVd/Blue-ray renting from Lovefilm, not hard for me to stick the disks back into the post box on the way to work.
Posted by chrysalis over 5 years ago
Andrew my comment was based on that online movie delivery here hasnt taken off the same way as in america.
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