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Netflix Expanding Streaming Service to The UK and Ireland 78

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the turns-out-the-uk-has-its-own-internet dept.
bdking writes "Netflix says it will begin offering streaming video services to customers in the United Kingdom and Ireland early next year. (No DVDs by mail, though. That's so 'Oughts.') The company launched services last month in 43 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean."
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Netflix Expanding Streaming Service to The UK and Ireland

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  • They want to expand into bankrupt Ireland but still don't have any plans to open up in Australia? FFS.

    • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by perpenso (1613749) on Tuesday October 25, 2011 @02:19AM (#37828402)
      I suspect available bandwidth to homes and the licensing of content are probably greater barriers than the credit worthiness of the government. Any problems with the former?
      • Doesn't Australia have bandwidth caps worthy of a fascist state?
        • by bigg_nate (769185)
          It's only one data point, but my bandwidth cap for DSL in Sydney was 250 GB/month, vs 150 in the States.
          • by hedwards (940851)

            I'm not aware of any ISPs in the US that have a cap of only 150GB/month. And the ISP I have has no cap at all at present.

        • Only for international traffic, IIRC (I'm not Australian). Australia's choke point is its fibre links to the rest of the world. If you host within Australia (by arrangement with the ISPs I believe), then you can get round the caps.

      • by jonwil (467024)

        I suspect that the latter issue (licensing) is going to be a problem for anyone who wants to move in because of the 800lb gorilla in the form of Telstra and specifically BigPond Movies.
        They have big deals with content producers (some of which may be exclusive deals) plus you can watch the content on your TV if you have a Telstra set-top-box (T-Box) or a compatible TV (some LG and Samsung models from the look of it). Plus if you are with BigPond for internet you get the movies quota free.

        The biggest problem

      • by hjf (703092)

        They don't seem to try too hard to license "new" content anyway. Here's what Netflix for Argentina looks like: http://i.imgur.com/Sxx2B.jpg [imgur.com]

        The hunt for red october? REALLY?

        No wonder no one I know is subscribing. I told many of my friends about that but when netflix finally got here, it was a disappointment. I have some friends in Chile who had the same feeling.

    • by 91degrees (207121)
      They want to expand into Britain. You get Ireland more or less for free. A country with the same standards, the same language (at least as far as Movies are concerned - no films are dubbed or subbed into Irish), and has a small population so a lot of companies lump the two countries together for convenience of licensing purposes
  • http://unblock-us.com/ [unblock-us.com]

    I understand that there are copyright laws involved which make distribution country specific. But seriously, this is the 21st century, get your laws in order. Something designed to work in the 19th century just no longer cuts it.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 25, 2011 @03:50AM (#37828744)

      Screw paying to get around geographic IP blockades.
      It's torrents for breakfast, lunch and dinner, until everyone gets with the program. If they never get with the program, then it's torrents forever.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Screw paying to get around geographic IP blockades.
        It's torrents for breakfast, lunch and dinner, until everyone gets with the program. If they never get with the program, then it's torrents forever.

        Amen brother.
        Instead of progressing forward and using "the digital" to its full extent we're going backwards.
        Take for instance books : physical books I can buy anywhere and have them shipped to my country. Try making the same thing with e-books. On amazon.uk some e-books are available only to uk customers. Really ? Who the fuck comes up with this shit ?
        Torrents forever, not only for video but for books and anything else thats ip locked.

        • by xenobyte (446878) on Tuesday October 25, 2011 @06:00AM (#37829186)

          Couldn't agree more!

          I live in Denmark and I don't mind paying for music, tv-series and movies. My 6.000+ CDs and 3.000+ DVDs and blu-rays should testify to that. But I absolutely refuse to wait for someone to 'buy rights' or whatever here in my country before I can watch new stuff. If I can't get it legally, I'll have to get it illegally. I have the money in my hand. I want to pay for it. But I can't. Get with the program! - Put your stuff up for sale before someone steals it and gives it away for free!

          There's countless of VPN services that basically live on two stupidities:

          - Geo-discrimination. If you live the wrong place, there's something you'll have to wait for (maybe forever), that others have already got.
          - Suing your customers. The copyright owners spend a lot of effort tracking down 'violators' of their rights and sue them.

          VPN allows you to both hide and pretend you're somewhere that you're not.

          • by tehcyder (746570)

            If I can't get it legally, I'll have to get it illegally

            I'd have a lot more sympathy with statements like this if you were talking about gaining access to medical textbooks rather than Transformers 5.

        • by Pecisk (688001)

          "Who the fuck comes up with this shit ?"

          Copyright fees collection agencies. Here, I just said it.

          In short, they want huge amount of money from these services. If Netflix can't get a profit in mentioned country/region due of these fees, they won't go there.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Netflix lost 800,000 subscribers.

    • by perpenso (1613749)

      Netflix lost 800,000 subscribers.

      Were they profitable subscribers? Or subscribers who were "overusing" the system from the perspective of Netflix's expected usage patterns? I'm not suggesting these customers did anything wrong, Netflix may very well have had naive models and expectations.

      I've had friends with various small businesses and they all learned rather quickly to tell some potential customers: I am sorry but I don't think we will be able to help you. You can make a profit, or you can meet everyone's needs, but you probably can'

      • Netflix lost 800,000 subscribers.

        Were they profitable subscribers? Or subscribers who were "overusing" the system from the perspective of Netflix's expected usage patterns? I'm not suggesting these customers did anything wrong, Netflix may very well have had naive models and expectations.

        I've had friends with various small businesses and they all learned rather quickly to tell some potential customers: I am sorry but I don't think we will be able to help you. You can make a profit, or you can meet everyone's needs, but you probably can't do both.

        They lost me, and I was seriously under utilizing their system. I had maybe 1 dvd out every 4 months. I streamed about 4-5 30 minutes episodes of tv a week.

        • by 91degrees (207121)
          Is that 1 DVD every 4 months really worth $2 a month to you?

          But regardless, you could easily be an anomoly. For every customer like you they lost, maybe they lost 10 customers who wee a net cost. Maybe they also gained a few customers who felt the lower price justified joining.
          • that one dvd a month ended up costing me an extra $7 a month on top of the price i already paid. I primarily used the download service, and the mail service was just for those few things that were not available to stream. When they split their plans and almost doubled my price torrents because the more attractive alternative.

            • by 91degrees (207121)
              So roughly how much was that DVD every 4 months worth to you? Presumably DVD + streaming was worth $9.99. Streaming on its own isn't worth $7.99. So presumably, that DVD rental service was worth more than $2 per month to you.

              In other words, sacrificing that DVD rental saves you $2 per month. That was the option that you rejected. How much would you pay for just the DVD rental?
              • You make a good point. But I think my main issue is that Netflix was worth more to me when I first subscribed. As I depleted their content it slowly became worth less to me without me actively realizing it. The price change was enough of a shock to the system to make me reevaluate the worth of the entire system. Without the price change they probably could have kept me skating along paying a monthly fee for quite some time, since the price was low enough that I didn't really notice it until it was brough

              • by smelch (1988698)
                But... but... They raised their prices! I.... uh.... DOUBLE!.... uh... I would much rather pay netflix $2 a month for one DVD every few months than drive down the street and pay $1 per movie.

                Honestly, this uproar over netflix kind of lets the cat out of the bag about how people view copyright and their entitlement to it all. We've been told all along people torrent because the legal options are too much of a burden. Here, Netflix has done something that actually makes sense. Mailing DVDs around? That is
      • by teaserX (252970)

        Netflix lost 800,000 subscribers.

        ..and their revenues were up 65% for the quarter.
        There was no need to raise their prices the way they did.
        I got plenty of other options. Fuck em.

    • by jd (1658)

      Have they checked under the sofa cushions?

    • by 91degrees (207121)
      And kept 25 million, some of whom are paying more, others are costing the company less.
      • by hedwards (940851)

        That's not accurate, their most recent subscriber numbers were down to 23.8m subscribers. They also lost nearly a million dollars a month worth of revenue, if not more from it. $12m might not be a lot in the grand scheme of things, but right now the competition is heating up and if they're wanting to expand to other countries, they're going to need it, not to mention licensing new content.

        You also have to keep in mind that Blockbuster offers the same DVD service that Netflix does, but with the added bonus o

    • I think the problem NetFlix is facing isn't obvious to everyone. With the expiry of their Starz license and the general consensus that the licensing deal they gave NetFlix was ridiculously cheap ($25 million a year for access to Sony and Disney movies) and will never happen again, with Starz or any other company.

      This article [cnn.com] claims that Netflix's (sic?) licensing fees are going to go from $180 million in 2010 to $2 billion in 2012. It was in the face of this impending tidal-wave that Netflix hiked its pr
  • They really need to fix their service first... Anyone know how to (actually) remove a watched movie from your instant queue on firefox 7? Seems even in safe mode, once a movie is added it can't be removed (even by clicking 'Remove')... 90 movies in queue and growing! (40+ watched.. Getting harder to find movies since you can't number rank instant watch anymore)
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Works fine on FF7 here. Seems like the problem is you.

    • Heck, they broke AV sync recently. Some software upgrade boned things on Android (I managed to find an old package uploaded to a forum thread on this issue). FFS, I saw it on Roku last night.

      Really, how does this escape testing?

  • Bandwidth, at least where I live (near Oxford), isn't fast enough to stream video - the last time I tried to watch streaming video, I got two seconds of video, five seconds buffering, two seconds video, rinse, repeat. LoveFilm have been advertising quite heavily recently - they've been stressing the fact that you can either download or get DVDs in the post. Seems like a no-brainer to me...
    • by Rogerborg (306625)
      LoveFilm streaming is limited to older / unpopular content though (and their library search is truly awful). Netflix can whup them on that, and it's about time there was some competition.
      • Fair enough. Currently, neither of them can deliver content faster than me going out to buy/rent a handful of DVDs...
    • by Sockatume (732728)

      It's not so much of an issue in areas with fibre optic cable service, which inevitably happen to be very heavily populated. If you've got ADSL, you're stuffed, but I think there are enough customers in cabled areas just now for them to launch. (Lovefilm has a very popular streaming service of its own already.)

      • by Builder (103701)

        Define 'popular'. 18 out of the last 20 DVDs that I rented from Lovefilm were not available for streaming.

    • by Chocky2 (99588)

      It'll depend on your exchange - if they've got fibre you should be fine, but several exchanges near Oxford have only been upgraded fairly recently, so if you're in the wrong area (particularly one of the more rural areas) then you may be stuck.

      The Cowley, Whitney, and Wallingford exchanges should be upgraded in the next couple of months, Thame and Carteton should be done early next year, and Kiddlington's probably more than six months off.

      Summertown, Headington, Abingdon, Oxford and Didcot have all already

    • by Builder (103701)

      Change ISPs.

  • I have an account I just disabled before the price doubling.. they dont bill you and stop all services. I dont blame them, I blame the copyright holders..but its irrelevant, its more than I want to pay and I will probably eventually kill it.
    • by Xeranar (2029624)

      The cost of a full price DVD hovers around $20-22 while nexflix is about $15 for both services. It would take 3 DVDs purchased to equal 4 months of service. Cable is hovering between $60-120 a month. The equivalent costs are so much higher on netflix with the margins lower. So if you are acknowledging the issue is copyright holders why would you still attack your one friend in the fight?

      Amazon is only interested in getting customers then driving the price up as netflix was forced to do. The rest of the

  • No idea what that means really.

  • (No DVDs by mail, though. That's so 'Oughts.')

    Yes, and there's well-entrenched incumbents in that market too. Why go into a bruising fight with a company that is already dominating a market when you don't have to? Going streaming-only lets you (try to) end-run around them instead.

  • So they can feck off :P
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Netflix has a streaming-only model, so it's not like you're giving up any capabilities other than using it on a Linux desktop.

      With that said, if you refuse to consume any media you can't consume with a Linux desktop, I totally understand. Thanks for fighting the good fight. Enjoy your three movies.

  • ... they'll probably change their mind next week.

  • ... now if only they could expand their library. :(

  • by MagicM (85041)

    That's so 'Oughts.'

    The term is "the noughties" [wikipedia.org].

  • That's so 'Oughts.'

    I prefer the term "Naughties", which I heard from Adam Savage on Mythbusters.

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