Netflix launches in Canada, but not without mishap

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.

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Jeff Chabot

Jeff Chabot

Jeff Chabot writes about technology, broadcasting, and digital entertainment. You can also find him on Gameverse, Gadget Review, and Google+.

2 Replies to “Netflix launches in Canada, but not without mishap”

  1. Jason says:

    If you care about quality keep the disc option. BDs are still far superior to the streaming quality on Netlfix.

  2. matthew says:

    you did’nt blow anything you are just being truthfull american’ts are very self absorbed. and the idea to make it a stream only for american’t is also a great idea. thats less polution for all them extra dvds and energy it takes to ship them millions of dvd all over the US.

    i just got the netflix subscription last night and i was VERY shocked that netflix streams in HD can not get much better then that.

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