Two Versions of Netflix Moving in Opposite Directions

While the name is the same, don't be fooled; Netflix Canada and Netflix America are moving along at different paces, and this month they are in the news for very different reasons. Canadians are finding a growing list of content from their provider, while in the U.S. companies are gearing up to make it harder for Netflix to succeed.

While the name is the same, don’t be fooled; Netflix Canada and Netflix America are moving along at different paces, and this month they are in the news for very different reasons. Canadians are finding a growing list of content from their provider, while in the U.S. companies are gearing up to make it harder for Netflix to succeed.

Netflix Canada may not have the newest titles, but the database is vast with plenty of popular TV shows and movies. And the first season of 'Til Death.
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In Canada, Netflix began in September 2010 exclusively offering movies and TV shows online, streaming to any computer, Nintendo WII, Playstation 3, or Ipad, among other systems. In the U.S., DVDs are sent in my mail, with some titles available on demand through streaming. Due to copyright laws, Netflix Canada is limited in terms of content in comparison to their U.S. counterpart, but what they lacked in availability they made up for with immediacy. The Canada database does not have the latest new movie releases, but does features a wide range of foreign films, documentaries, and popular shows such as Mad Men, Heroes¸ and Rescue Me.

This week however, Netflix signed some new deals which will further increase the amount of content they are offering. The Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) agreed to a contract, offering among other shows The Tudors, the Golden Globe nominated series about the life of English King Henry VIII.

Netflix will also now offer the past two seasons of Saturday Night Live, as well as the first five seasons of Kids in the Hall through a deal with Global TV. Meanwhile FreemantleMedia is offering the online provider two seasons of BBC shows Merlin and Pulling. Most notably perhaps, is the acquisition from All3Media of two seasons of the Emmy award winning series Weeds.

All this is to say that Netflix in Canada is doing exceedingly well in such a short time, and those subscribers who joined this fall are seeing increased membership lead to increased availability of movies and TV shows. As more people sign up and more companies sign on, the available content will rise as well.

Lost is a hit TV show now available on Netflix in the U.S. It is also where the cable companies have been since Netflix crept onto the scene.
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In the United States, Netflix is finding early smooth sailing to become somewhat arduous. When it began in 2008, media companies did not think much of the concept, and Netflix was able to get access to a wide database of movies for a very small price. As it continues to grow in popularity, companies are fighting back, fearing that people will simply stop getting cable and use Netflix exclusively.

Where once Netflix was sneaking up on companies, it is now the target of attack. New deals will be more much expensive, something that will be difficult to achieve considering the low monthly subscription of $8 – $10. On top of that, new competition is to arise in the form of HBO GO, an online service from Time Warner available for HBO subscribers. The chief executive of Time Warner, Jeffrey L. Bewkes, is also in works to create what he is calling TV Everywhere, with the idea that anyone who pays for cable can stream their shows at any time.

Still, Netflix moves on. While the Canada provider has signed new shows, so has the U.S. counterpart. A deal with ABC last week means the hit shows Lost and Desperate Housewives­ are coming soon to a computer near you.