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Netflix launches in UK; Lovefilm responds with cheaper contract

Submitted by on Monday, 9 January 20123 Comments

You probably spotted the Netflix logo on your XMB this week. Well. The service went live today, and in doing so it introduced some much needed competition to the UK streaming market. Do you need proof? Just look at the reaction of rival LOVEFiLM, who responded to the launch with a new cheaper contract of its own.

Netflix, like LOVEFiLM, allows you to stream films and TV programmes to your console for a set price each month. Netflix offers unlimited streaming for just £5.99, which was on par with LOVEFiLM until the company responded today with a new £4.99 unlimited viewing tier. Note that it’s advertised as a “special launch price”, though, so it’s likely the companies to find some parity soon.

While Netflix is a well-known name in America, the company is unknown in most UK households, so LOVEFiLM has an advantage here. And while LOVEFiLM is still pretty new to the online rental market, having only launched its online streaming service in 2010, it’s already available across multiple platforms, ranging from PCs, TVs, tablet PCs and consoles and reached 2m users. It’s offering over 4800 films and TV programmes and that number is always growing. The fact it is an Amazon company also gives it  significant influence.

Netflix, which was founded in 1997, is also available across multiple devices, and the company boasts over 20m users globally. It also has a large line-up, however the focus is more on TV programmes than films. Among its partners are All3Media, the BBC, CBS, Channel 4’s 4oD, Disney UK & Ireland, ITV, Lionsgate UK, MGM, Miramax, Momentum Pictures, NBCUniversal, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox and Viacom International Media Networks. The Financial Times also has Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos promising to invest “a couple of billion” dollars in new content.

They better do because content will likely decide who comes out on top in this war; but the winner today is definitely the consumer, who now has more options at lower costs.

Netflix is offering a one-month free trial, so you may as well give it a try.