LONDON Jan 9 U.S. online video and DVD
rental company Netflix launched in the UK and Ireland
on Monday, taking on Amazon-owned rival Lovefilm with a
promise of a huge range of instant entertainment.
The company, which describes itself as the leading global
internet subscription service for films and TV programmes, said
it would offer unlimited access to a broad range of
entertainment for 5.99 pounds ($9.23) in Britain and 6.99 euros
Consumers who sign up to the service will be able to access
Hollywood, local and global TV programmes and films on their
televisions via a range of internet-connected devices, such as
Smart TVs, game consoles, tablets and Blu-ray players.
It will offer films and TV programmes from such providers as
the British broadcasters BBC, Channel 4 and ITV and content
creators such as Disney, Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox and
"Now, you can enjoy as many great films and TV programmes as
you want, when you want, where you want, for one low monthly
price with no contracts or commitments," Reed Hastings,
co-founder and chief executive officer of Netflix, said.
Netflix is trying to recover from the roughest patch in its
15 year history after alienating customers with a 60 percent
price hike in an attempt to cover the increasing costs of buying
TV and film content.
Netflix's streaming content had been gaining popularity as
customers chose to forego traditional and expensive cable
subscriptions, opting instead to view cheaper Internet-based
content streamed directly to their computer or television.
But Netflix lost 61 percent of its market value last year,
much of it after the company reported it bled 800,000 customers
in the third quarter, more than expected, and warned it would
make a loss this year as it expands internationally.
Netflix's troubles have been exacerbated by the move from
DVD rental to online streaming, which is far less profitable.