MOVIES AND VIDEO ON DEMAND SERVICE Netflix has added The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to its catalogue.
The first part of a trilogy, the film is online now, and if you are not at work you can watch it as part of your Netflix contract for free. Alternatively you can buy it on DVD or pay to watch it on demand through Blinkbox.
Putting aside the other formats, bagging The Hobbit must be something of a coup for Netflix. It plays catch-up to Sky Movies and its Now TV for example, and Sky boasts that it gets films a year before its rivals. It can't really say that anymore.
We're on the lookout for someone to share in an adventure: http://t.co/ckTgGF4K7q— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) August 8, 2013
Until The Hobbit, Netflix has been tagging along behind its more established competition, and although it does have some recent films, Spielberg's Super 8 for example, they aren't new.
But Netflix is making consistent strides into the market, and has offered homegrown shows like Orange is the New Black and the latest series of Arrested Development. It has also bagged the rights to Ricky Gervais' Derek, which was on Channel 4.
In less than a week Netflix will also start showing the latest series of Breaking Bad. It will put up the new series five episodes shortly after they air in the US and the excitement among local fans is palpable.
This morning the Sky Now TV page is boasting that its users get content 12 months before Netflix and Lovefilm. We would suggest that it add a disclaimer that says, "except The Hobbit". µ