Americans, Canadians, Netflix customers quabble over a dollar.
This week Netflix officially launched its instant watch service in nearby Canada. For $7.99 a month, Canadians can get movies and TV shows streaming to their PCs, TVs, gaming consoles and mobile devices. This is the first time Netflix has expanded outside the U.S. And, it’s the first time the company has offered a streaming-only service.
But the launch was not without some mishap. In the words of Steve Swasey, VP of corporate communications at Netflix, “We Blew It.” At the launch event in Canada paid actors for a Netflix corporate video shoot were “unmasked” by Canadian reporters, who texted and tweeted their findings to the masses. But it didn’t end there.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings also made an apology on the Netflix blog about comments he made to Hollywood Reporter. In his words, “My Big American Foot is in my mouth.” His response follows a comment he made about American’s being so self-absorbed that they wouldn’t notice Canadians will be paying less for their Netflix service.
The big difference between the Canadian service and the U.S. is that Canadians will not have the rental-by-mail option. Hence, their entry level subscription rate is a dollar less than the U.S. $8.99 a month fee.
Netflix customers have flooded the web with comments concerning the whole issue. But is it really that big of an issue? We are really only talking about a buck. One customer’s remark found on the Netflix blog may have put things in perspective saying “I’ll forgive you if you bring back the friends feature.”
For Americans who want to shake the disc habit, multiple sources report Netflix is considering a streaming-only option in the U.S., which would probably cost the same as the Canadian option.