Sources within the European film industry believe Netflix, a film rental and online streaming service that’s popular in the US, is planning to launch in the UK in early 2012.
Speaking to Variety, the sources indicated that the UK and Spain were two European territories the streaming specialists were targeting in Europe.
Neither was mentioned in an official expansion list published by Netflix earlier in the year, though the head of Netflix has previously hinted at a ‘third wave’ of expansions.
If it launched in the UK, Netflix would be competing directly with the likes of LoveFilm (owned by Amazon), AceTrax and Apple iTunes for online streaming of films to TVs. Sky and Virgin also offer on-demand films via their pay TV services, so Netflix would be another option in an already crowded market.
Netflix is the US market leader in film streaming, but has only recently begun to expand internationally.
Use our free Online TV guide to see what TV you can stream over the internet.
Netflix competitors compared
LoveFilm is the most similar service to Netflix in the UK. Like Netflix it offers both physical rental, including DVDs, Blu-rays and video games, and streaming of films and TV episodes. Its streaming service is built-in to the Smart TV systems of Sony and Samsung, as well as the Sony PlayStation 3 games console, and can be accessed via PCs.
AceTrax offers a choice of over 2,000 films from various studios, with prices per film ranging from £1.49 to £3.49. It’s available in Panasonic, LG and Samsung TVs.
Apple iTunes offers film purchases and rentals on PCs and its Apple TV accessory. Rentals cost £2.49 or £3.49 depending on the age of the title.
Want to stream films straight to your TV? Read our How to buy the best Smart TV guide to see who offers the best Smart TV system.
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