Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Netflix Goes Abroad! But Not Too Far: Streaming Service Coming To Canada.

Netflix is finally taking its Web streaming service outside the U.S. But it’s not taking it very far: The subscription offering will be available in Canada this fall, the company announced today.

This fulfills CEO Reed Hastings’s promise that the company would head outside of America in 2010, but it’s going to disappoint a lot of folks who assumed that meant Europe. I’ve double-checked with Netflix (NFLX) spokesman Steve Swasey, who confirms that the Canada move will be the extent of the company’s international forays this year.

Still, it’s expansion, right? It’s also worth noting that Canadian customers will be able to subscribe to the Web offering but still won’t be able to get Netflix DVDs via the mail. It’s the first time that Netflix has offered a streaming-only service.

Netflix’ release doesn’t have many other specifics, like price, the size of the catalog that the company will offer, or the exact date it will be available. But I have been able to ferret out one other detail: The service won’t be of any use to American subscribers who visit their neighbors up north. Blame licensing restrictions, per usual.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald