Netflix heads north

Netflix is taking the first steps to expanding globally. The
online film rental service has announced plans to offer its streaming service to
Canada beginning this fall.

The company will not offer rentals-via-mail to Canadians, as it does in the U.S. Instead, it is dubbing this expansion its “first streaming-only service.” 

Netflix, in recent
years, has been focusing much more extensively on its online streaming
services, striking U.S. partnerships with television and Blu-ray player
manufacturers as well as video game consoles, Tivos and other devices.

Netflix did not offer many details about how it will stream
films to north-of-the-border customers, nor did it list any pricing for the service. It
did assure Canadians, though, that it would offer the service on “a range of
consumer electronics devices … as well as watching on PCs and Macs.”

Service, initially, will only be in English, but Netflix
plans to add French language capability over time. That, of course, could open
the door to expansion into another country, but that’s likely a bit further

Netflix reports its second fiscal quarter results Wednesday
afternoon. Analysts expect the company to report its total number of
subscribers has hit close to 15 million people. Over half of those subscribers were
streaming films three months ago. That number is expected to increase, as iPad  and iPhone apps have since launched and the
content library has expanded. 

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