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Date:10/01/12

Video streaming Website Netflix launches in UK

Video streaming Website Netflix made its U.K. debut on Monday, offering consumers access to its catalogue of TV and film content for £5.99 per month.

The U.S.-based company, which boasts more than 20 million customers in 47 markets, has partnered with 15 content owners for its U.K. launch including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, NBCUniversal, Viacom, Sony Pictures, Disney UK and Ireland, and Paramount (see below for the full list). Netflix said it plans to broaden the range of content on offer over the coming months.

Crucially Netflix's unlimited £5.99 tariff undercuts rival content streaming and DVD rental firm LoveFilm, which is owned by Amazon and offers a limited service of two hours of streamed content and three disc rentals per month for the same price. Netflix by comparison insists its service is truly unlimited.

LoveFilm has already responded to Netflix's U.K. launch by introducing an even cheaper promotional price plan that allows customers to rent two DVD or Blu-ray discs per month for £4.99.

"We are starting 2012 in the best possible way: by giving consumers in the U.K. and Ireland an amazing entertainment experience," said Netflix co-founder and chief executive Reed Hastings, in a statement.

Netflix also allows customers, or members as it refers to them, to link their account to their Facebook profile and share their viewing activities online.

In addition, Netflix has made its service accessible on a raft of different devices, including connected TVs, iOS and Android-powered smartphones and tablets, and games consoles.

"You can enjoy as many great films and TV programmes as you want, when you want, where you want," said Hastings.

However, optical network specialist Infinera warned that Netflix represents a potential headache for network operators.

"Telecoms providers in the U.K. have made great strides in terms of meeting the demand for bandwidth hungry services and the likes of BBC [catch-up TV service] iPlayer have put a heavy strain on the network," noted Infinera's EMEA vice president Chris Champion.
"But if Netflix replicates just a proportion of its U.S. success in the U.K., it will mean carriers will have to raise the bar again."

Indeed, according to policy control specialist Sandvine, Netflix accounted for 32.7% of peak downstream Internet traffic in the U.S. in autumn 2011.

"Operators should see this as an opportunity to future proof their network with the innovative technologies available," advised Champion.

Full list of Netflix content partners for U.K. launch:

All3Media

BBC

CBS

Channel 4's 4oD

Disney UK and Ireland

ITV

Lionsgate UK

MGM

Miramax

Momentum Pictures

NBCUniversal

Paramount

Sony Pictures Entertainment

Twentieth Century Fox

Viacom International Media Networks
 
Momentum Pictures

NBCUniversal

Paramount

Sony Pictures Entertainment

Twentieth Century Fox

Viacom International Media Networks




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13 April 2024

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