It looks like Netflix is set to launch its streaming-only service in Canada this Wednesday, according to a report in The Hollywood Reporter, which says CEO Reed Hastings will do the unveiling in Toronto. Netflix announced on July 19th that it would launch in Canada, its first non-U.S. market.
There are pros and cons to Netflix entering the Canada without offering DVDs-by-mail. The main pros are that Netflix avoids the expense associated with both building out the DVD warehouses/delivery centers and the postage expense to send discs. The cons are that the content selection will be drastically lower than what's available in the U.S., which could disappoint Canadians eager to have the same American service. Even though Netflix has been aggressively adding to its streaming catalog, it's still a fraction of what's on DVD. And it's not clear yet whether all the streaming deals Netflix has recently cut include Canadian distribution rights.
Hastings has been candid in the past that Netflix will proceed cautiously with international expansion. There are a lot of new variables outside the U.S., including competition. Over the weekend there was a report that Amazon may be looking to acquire the remaining part of U.K.'s LoveFilm that it doesn't already own.
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