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Netflix claims one million UK users as it takes aim at Sky

Impressive figures despite small library
Mon Aug 20 2012, 14:00

VIDEO STREAMING SERVICE Netflix announced it has picked up one million UK subscribers in less than seven months.

Netflix launched its UK service back in January and has become popular, despite being able to provide only a fraction of the video library on offer to its US punters in the UK. The firm announced today that it now has one million UK subscribers.

Netflix was keen to play up the fact that it hit the one million UK subscribers milestone in less than seven months, which is very impressive given that it started from scratch. The firm has also come up against Amazon and its Lovefilm service, which has invested heavily in advertising to try to curb Netflix's popularity.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said, "This membership milestone is evidence that Netflix has rapidly gained popularity in the UK and Ireland. Our British and Irish members clearly enjoy the ability to instantly watch a large variety of TV shows and films streaming from Netflix on their favourite devices whenever they want."

Hastings also told the Sunday Telegraph that the firm would go up against Bskyb to try to win first viewing rights for movies. "We will be really aggressive in our bidding," he said. "It may be that we win in the first round. It may be that it takes two or three years, but we're incredibly confident that we will win the bidding for some of Pay 1 [first viewing rights]."

Whether Netflix can outbid Rupert Murdoch for movie rights is not certain, since Bskyb has built a multi-billion pound business on winning auctions for movies and sport, but it might help push the price up for Murdoch. At this point Netflix's UK customers would likely just prefer to gain access to the same library of television shows and movies as their US counterparts. µ


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