Netflix Launches in U.K. and Ireland

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Netflix's well-publicised loss of 800,000 customers in the third quarter of 2011 hasn't dampened the company's expansion plans, and today the company announced it has launched its streaming service in the U.K. and Ireland. 

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

Netflix is offering a one-month free trial, after which subscribers will pay £5.99 or €6.99 a month to access the company's film and TV catalog on PCs, mobile devices, and connected TVs. Currently, Netflix is available on more than 700 devices, including Blu-ray players, game consoles, and set-top boxes like Apple TV and Roku.

Netflix joins LoveFilm and other, smaller services like Blinkbox and Sainsbury's Global Media Vault, in offering streaming access to content in the UK; LoveFilm also reaches Germany and several Nordic countries not currently serviced by Netflix. In addition to the U.S., Netflix also offers its streaming service in Canada and Latin America.

As Hastings pointed out in an interview with the BBC, however, both Netflix and LoveFilm are competing with Sky's various streaming and catch-up offerings. Still, he says his company's goal is to garner millions of subscribers in the U.K. over the next few years.

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