Netflix Continues Quest for Global Domination
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Earlier today, Miramax and Netflix announced a multi-year licensing agreement that will bring many of the studio’s top films — including Pulp Fiction, Good Will Hunting, and Gangs of New York — to the streaming service.
Earlier this week, Netflix announced another deal for its European streaming service, saying Monday that it would become the exclusive streaming provider of Lionsgate’s (NYSE:LGF) first-run films in the U.K. and Ireland. However, Lionsgate won’t make its new films available on Netflix for up to a year after their theatrical releases.
Conversely, the Miramax deal makes no mention of exclusivity or new films. Only a month after Miramax signed its first agreement with Netflix back in May, it signed a similar streaming deal with Hulu Plus (NASDAQ:CMCSA), and has since brought rentals to Facebook as well.
Netflix plans to bring just its streaming service to the U.K. and Ireland in early 2012, though so far, no launch date has been announced.
While content is a big part of cementing Netflix’s status as the number one streaming video service in the world, so is accessibility.
As people spend more and more time on their smartphones, they are spending less time watching TV or sitting in front of their computers, so Netflix is going mobile.
On Tuesday, Netflix announced the debut of a revamped app for Android (NASDAQ:GOOG) tablets. Though Netflix already has an app for the iPad (NASDAQ:AAPL), the new Android app’s design displays more movies and TV shows on the screen, making it easier to find things to watch.
Of course, the Android advantage is unlikely to last long, with Netflix adding in the headline of the blog spot announcing the new app: “iPad coming soon.”
Though in the past Netflix has tended to release new apps for iPhone and iPad before rival mobile technologies, it seems the company has recognized the growing popularity of Android devices and has adjusted its strategy accordingly.
Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) share of the smartphone market now overshadows that of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone. On Tuesday, research firm Gartner said that Android had jumped to 52.5% of the worldwide smartphone market, while iPhone had fallen to 15%.
Still, in the tablet market, the iPad still reigns supreme. But that could change as inexpensive new tablets come on the market, like Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) $199 Kindle Fire or Barnes & Noble’s (NYSE:BKS) new $249 Nook. Apple’s $499 introductory iPad just can’t compete on price.
Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey said the company chose to release the new Android app to take advantage of the high-profile debuts of the Kindle Fire and Nook tablets, both of which run software based on Android.
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But that doesn’t mean Netflix now favors Android over Apple products. “We want to be Switzerland here,” said Swasey, a diplomatic move for a company intent on conquering the world.