Netflix over the weekend announced that its expanding to the U.K. and Ireland where it hopes to entice potential subscribers with a free one-month trial. It's a different ballgame overseas, and while Netflix dominates the streaming scene in the U.S., it will now face off against Lovefilm, a popular streaming service in the U.K. with over 2 million subscribers and owned by online giant Amazon.
After the free trial ends, subscribers will be charged £5.99 (around $9.24) in the U.K. and €6.99 (about $8.88) in Ireland, both of which are slightly higher than equivalent U.S. subscriptions ($7.99/month) after converting to stateside currency.
"Our catalog is full of complete TV programs such as The Only Way is Essex, Prison Break, and Damages (watch from the pilot episode all the way through the last complete season) and great films such as 3:10 to Yuma, Blitz and The English Patient, with new content added continuously," Neil Hunt, chief product officer at Netflix, stated in a blog post announcing the expansion.
As for the overseas competition, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings isn't terribly concerned with Lovefilm.
"The big competitor in the U.K. for us is Sky Movies and Sky Atlantic," Hastings told BBC News. "Lovefilm is mostly DVD by post... and we're both really competing with Sky."
Netflix has been wildly successful in the U.S., though it rocked the boat a little too much in 2011 by raising prices and nearly severing its DVD-by-mail arm into a completely separate business. Customer and investor faith took a big hit as a result.