On Monday, Netflix streaming video service saw its launch in the United Kingdom. The DVD mailing and online movie service will look to compete with a huge rival in Amazon.com, which already has a strong presence there. Will the UK customers embrace the service, or turn their backs on it like US customers?
In the UK, Netflix will be going up against the Lovefilm service run by Amazon, and it’s customer base of 2 million or so. Also among the competitors will be British Sky Broadcasting. To try to gain customers, Netflix (NFLX) offers a free one-month trial and then an entry level monthly service price of $9.25 US. However, CNN notes that Lovefilm is offering a $7.70 a month service to keep the competition on its feet.
Netflix has seen its share of lost customers in the United States due to price increases and changes to their service terms. Those terms previously allowed customers to have DVD’s or Blu-ray discs via mail, in addition to online streaming of movies. However, they cut the two services in half, and now have increased the monthly charge if customers want both. There’s also many customers who feel Netflix lacks the title choices that other services like Hulu or Amazon have.
It’s likely that streaming video technology will be the way of the future in movies and TV entertainment. With that in mind, Netflix will need to look at ways to improve their technology, and choices of available movies. Right now, they are having enough trouble as it is convincing US customers they are the best option. With a large number of customers in the UK favoring the Lovefilm service from Amazon, it seems Netflix has its work cut out for it around the globe.