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Netflix said to be planning 2011 international push

Movie rental giant could be well on its way to offering its streaming service overseas next year, according to two recent reports.


After expanding its streaming service into Canada, it seems Netflix is looking elsewhere internationally to build its business.

Speaking to the CBC last week, Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey said the company is "talking about other regions in the world." He went on to tell the publication that Netflix is planning to "continue our international expansion next year." He also told the CBC that the company will "allocate significant dollars to it."

Even more potential evidence of Netflix expanding internationally was revealed today when AdWeek cited unnamed sources that claim Netflix is working with "advertising and media agencies" around the world to determine ad placement. The report claims that those talks are currently "exploratory" in nature, but indicate that Netflix is getting serious about expanding the availability of its streaming offering.

As Netflix expands internationally, the company is leaving its DVD-by-mail service in its wake. In October, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings echoed that sentiment, saying that the focus of his company is changing. He also acknowledged at the time that he was looking outside of North America to expand Netflix's streaming operation.

"By every measure, we are now primarily a streaming company that also offers DVD-by-mail," Hastings said in a statement accompanying his company's third-quarter financial results. "At the same time, the introduction of our streaming offering in Canada in late September has provided us with very encouraging signs regarding the potential for the Netflix service internationally."

Hastings didn't say how popular its streaming offering is in Canada. However, Swasey told the CBC last week that the company plans on being profitable in that country by the one-year anniversary of its Canadian launch in September.

Expanding internationally seems like the next logical step for Netflix as it attempts to become the go-to streaming company service on different devices. However, it won't necessarily be met with open arms.

In Europe, for example, Netflix will be forced to compete with Lovefilm. That company currently caters to customers across the U.K., Sweden, Germany, and other countries. Aside from its by-mail service, the company has a streaming service like Netflix's. That offering is available on the PC and on Sony's PlayStation 3.

Regardless, Netflix has no other choice but to expand if it wants to see its streaming service continue to grow in leaps and bounds. But it should be interesting to see if it can maintain its winning streak.