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The deal will help Netflix compete with Amazon's Lovefilm
Two weeks after announcing its expansion overseas, Netflix announced Monday morning that MGM will be among its very first streaming partners in the UK and Ireland. The two companies have signed a multi-year agreement that will make Netflix the exclusive subscription streaming service for first-run MGM titles.
The titles will be available in early 2012 for what Netflix says will be a “low monthly price”—i.e., Netflix isn’t disclosing how much it plans on charging subscribers in the UK and Ireland yet. It will have to compete with Amazon’s Lovefilm (formerly known as the “Netflix of Europe”), which offers unlimited streaming plus DVD packages starting at £9.99 a month—similar to what Netflix used to offer before it raised its prices to $16 a month (which is roughly what £9.99 converts to).
Among the new releases that will be appearing exclusively on Netflix in the UK and Ireland are “Zookeeper,” “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters,” “21 Jump Street,” and the “Lord of the Rings” prequels “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” and “The Hobbit: There and Back Again.”
Other, slightly older titles from MGM’s collection will also be made available for streaming on Netflix in the UK and Ireland, including "Capote," "Fargo," "The Usual Suspects," "West Side Story" and "The Amityville Horror."
Netflix first partnered with MGM in the U.S. for streaming rights to the studio’s titles back in August 2010 in a five-year deal that included Paramount and Lionsgate, costing Netflix some $1 billion. At that time, Netflix owned the streaming rights to 46% of new releases, according to the AP. Since then, Netflix has lost some partners, including Starz, which means Netflix has lost the streaming rights to quite a few titles this year (Starz alone provided Netflix with 1,000 streaming titles).
Netflix recently announced that its subscriber count dropped to 23.8 million from 24.6 million, which caused its stock to plummet nearly 40% to $74 in October. Netflix also announced it was dropping Qwikster, its would-be DVD-only service. The company’s stock has since climbed back up to close at $90 on Friday.
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