There was a time when it seemed that Netflix could do no wrong in its home market of the United States.
Widely considered one of the top internet companies, its stock was an analyst favorite and it had the price to prove it.
Then Netflix CEO Reed Hastings messed it all up by trying to push the company to where he thought it needed to go faster than the market was ready to move.
Rebuilding its reputation and relationship with unhappy customers in the US could take some time, so one of the ways Netflix can regain some of its past glory sooner than later is to expand internationally, something that it’s now doing aggressively.
One of its top markets for expansion: the UK, where it has already started rolling out its streaming service as of today.
As reported by The Guardian, the California-based company has already signed deals with numerous high-profile content providers, including BBC, Miramax and Lionsgate, and it’s in late talks with others, such as Sony, Disney and ITV.
Plus, it’s rolling out an ad campaign; paid search ads are already being spotted in the wild.
According to The Verge, the Netflix PS3 app is now live in the UK, and an Apple TV app is listed but not yet active. It appears that UK consumers interested in checking Netflix out will be able to do so free for the first month, with a subscription costing £5.99/month thereafter.
As noted by The Guardian, some estimates have the UK streaming market being worth upwards of £375m by next year, making it a crucial market for Netflix to establish a strong foothold in.
Doing so, however, may not be so easy. Competitors like Amazon’s Lovefilm have been shoring up their content deals, so Netflix won’t be the first or largest to play in the UK market, setting up a real test for the company’s international expansion efforts.