Netflix is expanding its borders -- literally. The Internet movie subscription service just launched its service in Canada. This is the first time Netflix has offered streaming video outside the United States.
Netflix is getting off on the right foot in Canada. The company has new license agreements with leading motion-picture studios, including Lionsgate, MGM Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, and Universal Pictures.
The monthly subscription is only $7.99 a month, a dollar less than its U.S. service. Consumers can also download the iPhone app for mobile streaming of thousands of movies and TV episodes. Like the U.S. subscription service, Canadian consumers will have unlimited viewing on demand.
"The future is moving to a digital model of delivery on a flat rate so that people don't have to buy each movie every time they want to watch one," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. "Netflix is moving into a new market in a new way -- exclusively digital. Given that Netflix is the predominant player in the DVD subscription rentals suggests that we are about to turn the page."
Canadians can tap into a wide variety of programming tailored to the market, including feature films like Superbad, The Pursuit of Happyness, A Beautiful Mind, The Notebook, Elizabeth and Slumdog Millionaire. In Canada, Running Wilde will stream from Netflix on the same day the show airs on network television in the U.S.
The first five seasons of the Canadian Showcase Network's hit "mockumentary" series Trailer Park Boys, director Mike Clattenburg's creation about the misadventures of a group of trailer-park residents in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, is also streaming on Netflix.
Prior season episodes of the TV series Mad Men and the hit dramas Leverage, Rescue Me, and Monk are streaming on Netflix, along with popular shows from the Discovery Channel, Nickelodeon, Canada's Nelvana Studio, and the BBC.
The only catch for Canadian consumers: The service will initially be available in English only. The company said it expects to add French language capability over time, but was not specific. Also, the Canada service is streaming only. Consumers there can't order the physical discs.
"The lack of French content is not unique to Netflix. France is not a huge producer of movies," said Enderle. "Netflix just doesn't have the library for it."
Canada's six million video-game console owners can stream Netflix through their boxes to the television set, or through Blu-ray disc players from Samsung and Toshiba. Of course, consumers can also watch the programming on PCs and Macs. Netflix hinted at adding Blu-ray disc players from VIZIO and Insignia to the hardware mix in the coming months, along with Internet TVs from Samsung and Apple TV.
Earlier this month, Netflix inked a licensing deal with Nu Image/Millennium Films. First-run theatrical films distributed by the group will be available for streaming over the Internet to subscribers during the pay-TV window. Nu Image and Millennium Films are best known for big-budget action-thriller movies such as The Expendables, John Rambo, Brooklyn's Finest, Righteous Kill, 16 Blocks, and Black Dahlia.