Content is king, as we know all too well. Netflix knows this better than most, and is trying to secure a good line-up of movies and TV shows in advance of its launch in the U.K. and Ireland set for a few months’ time.
It was less than a month ago, in October 2011, that Netflix announced plans to launch in the U.K. and Ireland. This would be its first foray into Europe, although skirmish may be a better word for it as the company faces tough competition from Amazon’s Lovefilm. If all goes well then mainland Europe will surely follow.
This follows on from Netflix moving out of the U.S. and into both Canada and Latin America and the Caribbean. Its recent troubles may have dented confidence and slowed down the international push but Reed Hastings and co. clearly still have one eye on world domination.
As discussed yesterday when revealing Roku’s plans for Europe, content is all-important for any of these services. And Netflix is no exception. Thankfully partners are signing up left, right, and center.
Lionsgate and Miramax
Both Lionsgate and Miramax have signed deals to bring content to the U.K. and Ireland through Netflix. Lionsgate’s is exclusive, Miramax’s is not.
The Lionsgate deal runs for several years and sees the extensive back catalog of films available immediately upon launch. This includes Reservoir Dogs and The Blair Witch Project. Newer titles include Saw 3D and The Expendables. Brand new titles such as The Hunger Games and the remake of Dirty Dancing will appear on the service within a year of theatrical release.
The Miramax deal runs for several years and sees classics such as Pulp Fiction, The Aviator, and Gangs of New York, as well as franchises including Scary Movie, Scream, and Hellraiser made available immediately upon launch. Miramax was late to the streaming party but since signing a deal with Netflix in the U.S. in May 2011 it has expanded its offerings substantially.
For Netflix to succeed in Europe the content deals need to be in place well before launch. And these two deals represent a good start. We still don’t quite know the actual launch date for the U.K. and Ireland, with a vague “early in 2012″ quoted. Which gives Netflix some wiggle room in securing more content.
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