Netflix is a company with big ambitions. And it’s video streaming which is likely to enable the company to fulfill those ambitions. That is, at least, if it can gain a foothold outside North America.
As a Brit I’ve been looking upon Netflix and its streaming ‘Watch Instantly’ service with envious eyes over the past couple of years. This is a killer service available at a very reasonable price, but it’s been a U.S.-only affair for too long.
In September, Netflix finally traveled across one border, offering Canadians their own streaming content subscription service. And while it isn’t a patch on its U.S. counterpart, it’s been received well enough that more forays into foreign climes now look likely.
Netflix was always likely to seek a push into other countries. It is now so successful in the U.S. that the obvious means of expansion is to go global. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings had previously suggested this was going to happen, and now a company spokesman has told CBC:
“We’re now talking about other regions in the world. Based on the early success of Netflix.ca, we’re going to continue our international expansion next year and we’re going to allocate significant dollar to it.”
These ambitions have no doubt helped persuade Netflix that streaming is the future. While a DVD-by-mail service was fine inside the States, streaming is the way to go if you’re a company looking to move into other territories.
And as Netflix has for some time considered itself “primarily a streaming company,” those barriers have already been removed.
As noted by GigaOM, Netflix isn’t going to have a walk in the park trying to reposition itself as a global player. There is already bags of competition present in most countries, all of which Netflix is going to have to see off (or acquire) in order to repeat its U.S. success.
However, as someone who would sign up for Netflix ‘Watch Instantly’ pretty much instantly if it was available, I can see it working. In the U.K., at least. Beyond that is anyone’s guess, but Netflix is sure as hell going to give it a good go.
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