Rumor has it that Netflix, the largest American provider of DVD rental and Internet streaming of videos is expanding across the pond in 2012– specifically to Spain and the UK. This news comes in addition to the company’s aforementioned plans to startup in Latin America and the Carribbean.
Taking this news into consideration, along with the company’s decision to raise subscription fees this past week, it’s arguable that the announcements are no coincidence. Netflix may need its subscriber’s financial support in undergoing its massive project abroad. It also may need the support to provide more content for streaming only, which will likely, be the preferred feature used overseas. Aside from this, the question now becomes whether or not the company’s expansion will succeed.
Given Spain’s lack of a major DVD rental company, I have no doubt that Netflix will find plenty of customers there. Especially with Netflix’s established Spanish programming it already offers.
As for the UK, Netflix will find stiff competition against LOVEFiLM, Amazon’s DVD rental and streaming video provider. Now truthfully, because I’m in America where Netflix is my only option because that’s America for you (I don’t count RedBox), I can’t pretend to know a lot about LOVEFiLM. So, naturally, I took to doing a bit of research, and found that it had an awesome feature that Netflix doesn’t: a better variety of subscription plans. Whether you’re a casual moviegoer or a fanatic, LOVEFiLM, I think, does a much better job offering plans to every type of customer. That way, those who watch less pay less and vice versa. Makes a lot of sense to me. Netflix could take a note or two on that one. Especially if it’s serious about a large UK audience.
As for content, I can’t speak for LOVEFiLM, but I will admit that Netflix’s library is impressive and always expanding. In the long run, that may be enough to convince more to join or switch allegiances. Only time will tell.