Netflix Expands Into the UK and Ireland – and More

Netflix streaming-only service in the UK and Irelandcheaper introductory streaming package that also has extra features. They're also not the only potential competitor.

Netflix both has to do this – and faces the hard truth that they'll loose money in 2012. They are trying to raise more capital, but also have to keep making changes to stay valid and head off competitors.

More insight is provided by Reed Hastings, who among other insights states pretty obviously his goal is to expand overseas.

Let's face it – Netflix is the default. It's even a good default, but the default nonetheless – and some bad choices (like Qikster) and a changing market have shown they're not as stable as people may think – including me.

But what happens with Netflix is going to have a lot of impact. Following Netflix is important because:

  • They (or those who replace them) will affect video distribution. I've been concerned what Big Streaming means for the little guy who does video. Maybe competition means the little guy gets a break – and consolidation means he gets crushed.
  • Amazon keeps expanding – and this is one area they're not dominant in. A failure of Netflix could mean a surge for Amazon – and the inevitable confrontation with Amazon as a kind of mega-power of business (think Wal-Mart but without people hating them as much). On the other hand, Netflix could be a bulwark against Amazon . . . and one people may eventually support financially and politically because of that only.
  • Netflix is seen as vulnerable, so people are moving into their territory – but to think they're all going to succeed is ignorant. Some bright new startups and competitors are doubtlessly going to fail – so pay attention if you work in those areas.
  • Career-wise, I think Netflix is still a safe bet for the next year or two. Then it'll be more solidified – or further in trouble. My big worry would be sudden reorganization.
  • Netflix currently does not employ local staff in it's UK and Ireland outreaches – but I'm sure that will change (and change in other countries). Might be an opportunity there.

This? One step in a much more complex game.

Steven Savage