Netflix backs UK launch with free trial offer

Netflix, the US film and TV streaming subscription service, launches in the UK today (9 January) with a free one month trial offer to tempt consumers to sign up to its product rather than rivals such as LoveFilm.

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The launch will be backed with a multi-platform marketing campaign to encourage trial.

A subscription to Netflix in the UK costs £5.99 a month and offers unlimited access to films and TV programmes from the BBC, Channel 4 and many of the top US movie studios.

Subscribers can watch films via their laptops, tablets, smart TVs, Blu-ray players and consoles, including the Nintendo Wii – which does not offer a LoveFilm service. More than one in three households in the UK owns a Nintendo Wii, according to data from Chart Track gathered in 2010.

Netflix is also integrated with Facebook, meaning members can instantaneously share their viewing habits with friends as they watch content via the service.

LoveFilm is also currently running a trial offer for its combined streaming and postal service, which is being profiled on the homepage of its website as well as the claim that it offers “Britain’s largest range of films”.

The Amazon-owned company recently launched an unlimited streaming-only package at an introductory price of £4.99 a month – £1 cheaper than Netflix’s current UK offering.

LoveFilm currently has 2 million subscribers to its range of services, while Netflix has more than 20 million registered users in 47 territories.

Retailer HMV partnered with on-demand operator FilmFlex in November to launch its own streaming service to offset the declining sale of DVDs. The struggling high street chain reported an 8.1% drop in like for like sales in the five weeks to December.

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