In July, Netflix said it would expand into Canada this fall, and the company made good on that promise as it made the announcement today. This marks the first international expansion of the company.
Canadians might not be too excited, however, as the launch does not include Netflix’s DVD rental service, but only its online streaming service. In the U.S., customers pay for the DVD service and get the online streaming service for free as an added bonus. Canadians get to pay $7.99 (Canadian) for the streaming service only.
Update: WebProNews asked Netflix VP, Corporate Communications Steve Swasey if the company has plans to offer DVD service in Canada in the future. He simply replied, "Pure streaming in Canada." He also notes that the Canadian catalog features different titles and is based on different licenses.
"Netflix members in Canada can instantly watch movies and popular shows – such as ‘Superbad,’ ‘A Beautiful Mind’ and ‘Mad Men’ – right on their TVs via Nintendo’s Wii, Sony’s PS3 game console, and coming later this fall, Microsoft’s Xbox 360, as well as models from Sharp, VIZIO, Haier and Best Buy’s Insignia brand. Plus, they can instantly watch via Apple’s iPhone or iPad and on PCs and Macs," says Netflix’s Jessie Becker.
There is no question that Netflix has made a lot of moves and will continue to do so to bolster its streaming catalog. However, as a standalone service (without the DVDs), it might be harder to find anywhere close to the substantial customer base it has acquired over the years in the U.S.
The streaming catalog is better, but it’s still not great. However, in the U.S. we are used to having Netflix with DVDs. As Canada has not had this from the company at all, perhaps they won’t miss it as much. Update: It’s worth noting that the Canadian catalog is different than the U.S. catalog. Update 2: Swasey says the catalog in Canada is "slightly smaller".
Would you pay for Netflix’s online streaming service only? Let us know.