Netflix to launch in UK and Ireland today

9 Jan 2012

UPDATE: US online streaming video firm Netflix will launch its services in the UK and Ireland today in a move that will enable millions of people to stream the latest DVD video releases on a host of web-connected devices throughout their homes.

In October, Netflix revealed it plans to launch in Ireland and the UK early in 2012.

According to the company, content will be accessible at a monthly price of stg£5.99 in the UK and €6.99 in Ireland.

The company currently counts more than 20m streaming members globally. Last week, Netflix reported that users watched more than 2bn hours of TV shows and movies in the fourth quarter.

Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings will be in the UK today and in Ireland tomorrow to launch the new service.

“We are starting 2012 in the best possible way: by giving consumers in the UK and Ireland an amazing entertainment experience,” said Hastings. “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.”

Netflix’s arrival in the Irish and UK market could strain existing market conditions for high-street DVD sellers, many of whom have failed to make the leap to digital delivery.

The company was established in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph, originally as a way of allowing people to rent movies that would be mailed out to them and returned by post.

However, that model has evolved into a streaming model with 23.6m subscribers.

In the US, Netflix is the biggest source of web traffic, accounting for 24.7pc of aggregated traffic, according to Sandvine.

Throughout 2011, Netflix continued to add to its already expansive variety of TV shows and movies in the US, signing new multi-year agreements with CBS, 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, Miramax, Open Road Films, NBC Universal, Dreamworks Animation, MGM and the Disney-ABC Television Group among others, and announcing the creation of the highly-anticipated Netflix original series House of Cards, a political thriller from executive producer David Fincher and starring two-time Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey.

Last month, we reported that Netflix signed a deal to serve BBC content globally. Beginning early 2012, previous series of BBC shows such as Torchwood and Spooks will be available for Netflix members to watch instantly in the UK and Ireland streamed over the internet to connected TVs, tablets, game consoles, computers and mobile phones.

Netflix users can stream the latest DVDs and their favourite TV content back to back on the following devices:

Device list

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years