American movie and series streaming service Netflix launches in Germany and five other European countries today. It costs €7.99 a month and does not offer the option to add a DVD plan.
There are two sides to the story of Netflix and previous conflict on the matter. If co-founder Reed Hastings really came up with the idea after having to pay $40 in overdue fines after returning Apollo13 way too late. However, the Californian company now counts 50 million users worldwide.
Having launched in 1997, Netflix started out with a single DVD rental model and selling DVDs, and saw the advantage of mailing that format instead of a VHS. The monthly subscription concept didn’t start until two years later. In 2000, the single rental model was dropped, and Netflix launched its personal recommendation system. Selling DVDs stopped in 2008.
The service also launches in France, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Switzerland today. Netflix’s monthly plan will cost €7.99, which is the same amount e.g. Amazon’s Prime Instant Video (formerly known as Lovefilm) charges and a Euro less than Watchever (€8.99) does.
While Netflix offers its online streaming service for $7.99 in the U.S. and offers additional DVD mailing subscriptions, the postal service will not be available for German users.
Though many might think that is out of date anyways, a lot of great movies are not available on streaming but on DVD only.
For Germany, however, German titles such as “Stromberg”, “Pastewka” and “Der Tatortreiniger” will be available. While German movies were available in German on Netflix with English subtitles before, e.g. Das letzte Schweigen (“The Silence”) or “Barbara”, newer titles like “Keinohrhasen” and “Stromberg, der Film” will be added.
Netflix sold its licences of its famous “House Of Cards” to ProSiebenSat.1 Media and the the pay-TV channel SKY in Germany. The company states that series one and two will be available on Netflix in Germany, I doubt however that this also works for series three right away when it airs in 2015.
Netflix will start in cooperation with Deutsche Telekom and will be available on its Entertain IPTV devices.
The struggle many will find is that some movies are always missing. And with other streaming services having already started, it is yet to seen if Netflix can continue its worldwide success in Germany.