Netflix, a leading Internet movie subscription service, has launched in Canada with an offering that allows Canadians to instantly watch unlimited movies and TV episodes streamed from Netflix to TVs and computers for $7.99 a month.
The Canadian introduction marks the first availability of the Netflix service outside the United States. Canadians can now begin a free, one-month trial, said Netflix Wednesday, Sept. 22.
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Among its other recent initiatives, Netflix has introduced its free Netflix App, allowing Netflix members on plans starting at $8.99 a month to instantly watch TV episodes and movies streamed to their iPhone or iPod touch. (Read: Watching TV Episodes, Movies on Your iPhone)
“With our launch today in Canada, Netflix is focused on adding meaningfully to the entertainment choices available to Canadian consumers,” said the company’s co-founder and CEO, Reed Hastings, who was in Toronto for the inauguration of the service.
A number of consumer electronics devices available in Canada are capable of streaming instantly from Netflix right to TVs.
Nintendo’s Wii home console and Sony’s PlayStation 3 (PS3) system can stream from Netflix now, and later this fall Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is set to join the Netflix streaming ranks here. The installed base of the three leading consoles in Canada is approximately six million units, according to Netflix.
In addition, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch can now stream from Netflix in Canada, as can Blu-ray disc players from Samsung and Toshiba.
Movies and TV shows streamed from Netflix can also be watched instantly on PCs and Macs.
Over time, more devices capable of streaming from Netflix are expected to be added in Canada, including Blu-ray disc players from VIZIO and Insignia (the latter available exclusively at Best Buy and Futureshop), Internet TVs from Samsung and the recently retuned Apple TV when it is introduced here.
As part of today’s launch, Netflix announced Canadian license agreements with major motion picture studios such as Lionsgate, MGM Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox and Universal Pictures, as well as leading Canadian distributors Alliance Films, Maple Pictures, eOne and Mongrel.
The Netflix Canadian service will initially be available in English only, but the company said it expects to add French language capability over time.