Posted in: Broadband Video Companies, News, Video Distribution, Video on Demand by Dave Parrack on September 23, 2010

Netflix LogoNetflix has made its first foray outside of the United States. OK, so it’s only a short hop north of the border to Canada, but it’s a start which promises a more global approach and streaming-only subscription plans in the U.S. and beyond.

Netflix

Netflix has come from nowhere to completely dominate the video rental sector in the U.S. Along with its vending machine compatriot Redbox, Netflix has even seen off the once-mighty Blockbuster.

A big part of Netflix’ success is its streaming content offering, ‘Watch Instantly’, which comes free with the DVD rentals-by-mail subscription plans. And its this aspect of the service that is key to Netflix plans to take over the world. Starting with Canada.

Netflix Heads North

Netflix is now available in Canada, launching in the country on Wednesday (Sept. 22). Canadians are being asked to stump up CAD$7.99 (US$7.80). For that they’ll get a streaming-only service which isn’t quite as potent or inviting as its U.S equivalent.

For starters, at launch there are just 7,500 titles available to watch, compared to over 20,000 for U.S. subscribers. However, some new films that aren’t yet available on Netflix U.S. are available on the Canadian service, as are some TV shows.

The number of connected devices able to stream the service is also limited at present. While all the usual Apple products will work, as will the PS3 and Wii, the Xbox 360 will be added later, and the connected TV sets from Sony and others are not available in Canada.

Streaming-Only Options

Although the Canadian Netflix service seems to be rather limited at present, its existence is important in the big scheme of things. Because if it proves to be popular with consumers and successful for the company then other countries will likely follow.

As a Brit myself, I’m eager for Netflix to launch a streaming-only subscription plan in the U.K. $7.80 would work out to around £5, which I feel is an absolute bargain. So much so I’m begging Netflix to cross the Atlantic next.

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