Netflix Boasts of Canadian Success

by Jordan Richardson on December 27, 2010

With countless brave souls cooling their heels after a little Boxing Day madness, kicking back to a couple of good movies is just the ticket. And for many Canadians, Netflix will be the source for that entertainment goodness this holiday season.

The U.S.-based Netflix hasn’t put out exact subscriber numbers yet, but they are doing an awful lot of boasting over business north-of-the-border. This sets up their international launch plans, too, which means we could be seeing more Netflix services worldwide starting in 2011.

Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey was excited about the Canadian experiment: “We’re extremely pleased with the reception in Canada and … based on the early success of we’re going to continue our international expansion next year and we’re going to allocate significant dollars to it.”

According to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, the Canadian incarnation of the service is set to be profitable by the time its first birthday rolls around in September. That’s quite a feat, even if some customers are less than pleased by the overall selection and lack of “new films.”

“There’s a cross section of people that I think were expecting it to be all new releases and they were disappointed but … it hasn’t hampered retention or acquisition of members, those who have come on and complained about it stayed on because there’s a treasure trove of stuff to watch — even though it’s not a lot of new releases,” says Hastings.

From my personal experience, I’ve found Netflix to offer plenty of opportunities to check out programming I might not have otherwise seen. From gems like Damages and Weeds to classic films like On the Waterfront and The Last Picture Show, Netflix has a lot of good stuff for those who aren’t just looking for the latest blockbuster. Best of all: no Boxing Day or Boxing Week commercials.

Usage caps have been an issue for some consumers, especially those in rural areas. Netflix says they’re keeping an eye on that, although there are no immediate plans to get into the ring with respect to lobbying. “We’re hearing from people who really consumed a lot and then saw a surprise on their bill but it hasn’t been prevalent, we haven’t seen it being a conquering issue,” Swasey said.

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