Netflix to launch in UK, Ireland in 2012

Netflix, the worldwide TV and movie streaming service, is to launch in the UK and Ireland next year. Finally.

Netflix, the U.S.-based online streaming giant, confirmed it will take on leading services in the UK and Ireland, when it launches in Europe next year.

Battling with public broadcasters and their on-demand television service, from BBC's iPlayer to Channel 4's 4oD service, the company said it will offer its unlimited TV and movie streaming services for a monthly subscription.

It is not expected for mail-order DVDs and Blu-ray content to be brought to the UK and Ireland, however. The company split its DVD and online streaming service last month, only to reform it in one of the greatest U-turns seen this year.

With 25 million subscribers worldwide, the company once paved a way for European customers, but shelved the plans when response to the service was lukewarm.
The California based company offers its premium TV and movie streaming service in the U.S. and Canada, along with over forty other countries around the world. Wider Europe is 'on the cards' with the Netflix company firmly eyeing Spain as a likely market to target.

Details are scarce, but a statement from the company pointed at further details about the service, such as pricing, available content and supported devices "will be announced closer to launch".

Little is expected to change in porting the service across to Europe. The impact Netflix will have on the wider UK and Irish market for content streaming, however, is set to change entirely.

Most of the on-demand services available in the UK are free, with some offered at a monthly subscription service. Competing with Amazon-owned LoveFilm, Google-owned YouTube and Apple iTunes also, the streaming content service market -- particularly since the rise of faster broadband and developing 4G access in the UK -- has been propped up by mostly non-commercial broadcasters.

Subscriptions to 'free', bar that of the TV licence those watching television in the UK must buy, have always settled with particularly younger people, as high content viewers and downloaders.