Netflix announces expansion into Great Britain, Ireland
Netflix has announced that its next international expansion will take it across the Atlantic and into Great Britain and Ireland.
Confirming news first reported in April, the subscription video company said Monday morning it will launch Internet streaming of movies and television shows in its first two European nations in early 2012.
The news came several hours before Netflix will release its financial performance for the quarter ended Sept. 30, revealing for the first time the impact on its bottom line of a controversial price hike and aborted move to split its U.S. streaming and DVD offerings into two consumer brands.
The company has already said it expects to lose about 600,000 domestic subscribers but add between 1.15 million and 1.45 million customers in the two foreign regions where it has already launched: Canada and Latin America. Announcing a new international market may help alleviate investor concerns over ground Netflix is losing in the U.S.
But it will face a competitive market in Great Britain and Ireland, where Amazon.com-owned Lovefilm is already the dominant subscription video company.
Netflix is also preparing to expand into Spain next year, according to people familiar with the company's plans but not authorized to discuss them publicly. In addition, it is exploring launching in South Korea, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Scandinavian nations.
-- Ben Fritz
Photo: The California offices of Netflix. Credit: AP