Lack of Subscriber Growth in Canada Surprises Netflix

Netflix Canada

Netflix reports that during first quarter 2011, only 290,000 Canadians subscribed down from 510,000 in the previous quarter ending December 2010.  Netflix also reported the total number of Canadians currently subscribed was 800,000. 

Reading a report on the National Post, they seem to think that the bandwidth caps are hurting Netflix growth in Canada. While I have to agree that the bandwidth caps will have an impact on digital media moving forward, the decline in growth has little to do with Usage Based Billing the CRTC tried to introduce earlier this year.

[pullquote_right]“During the quarter, we made great progress in increasing the quality and volume of content available to our Canadian subscribers. At the end of Q1 we began an output deal with Paramount, in which all of its movies will be available on Netflix streaming just a few months after DVD release. In Q2, we will continue to increase our content spending in Canada.”[/pullquote_right]

That said, Netflix has nailed it. The reason for the slow growth is definitely the lack of content. Canadians have many choices for content and although a minority are happy with the content Netflix provides, the majority feel the monthly cost does not provide enough new material.  

We feel Netflix may do their best to provide fresher content to Canadians, but with a majority of the licensing locked up such big companies as Rogers, CTV, Shaw, and Quebecor to name a few, this will not be an easy task.

Where do you think digital media is heading? Are consumers becoming too confused by too many options?

About Jamie Forestell

Jamie Forestell is the Editor-in-chief and also the founder of Tek Tok Canada. His knowledge and aptitude for Technology led him to create a central website for all Canadians. His strong passion for the Technology world helps him stay abreast of leading-edge technologies and his desire to spread this information was the driving factor behind the creation of Tek Tok Canada.

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  1. 2 words… Bandwidth, Quotas

  2. If you want elderly viewers you will need Closed Captioning. That’s why I haven’t signed up.

  3. I have netfix and it is the content that makes it frustraiting. When you look up a movie you want to watch and it repeatedly says not available it makes it not worth the $8 I’ll probably cancel my membership if more titles don’t become available.

  4. We tried the free month of Netflix. – There are alot of titles ‘not available’ – And it’s not just newer content. The Office, Arrested Development, The Big Lewbowski… not available. When we questioned the customer service, they explained it may take 6 months to secure more titles. See you in 6 months Netflix!

  5. For all people talk about NOT being available there is a ton of unique programming being available.

    I have watched so many films and programming I would not have otherwise seen thanks to Netflix.

    I really am bothered that people will complain over there not being enough rather than be glad with what we are getting for such a low price.

    We can often be our own worst enemies.

  6. The content could be better but I think it’s worth the monthly price. Good if you like to jump around and sample things. Watching Patrick Stewart in an old BBC TV production of Hamlet was pretty good.

  7. I agree with Big K. The content selection isn’t that great on Netflix Canada and to be honest, I have also been contemplating a departure from Netflix until they are able to get more licensing deals with studios. The concerns over bandwidth are also valid; for the SD Res vids to take up so much bandwidth is unacceptable especially when compared to DIVX that gives an equal if not better quality video using less bandwidth. Netflix did send a notification e-mail saying that it has reduced the amount of data per film streamed but that still doesn’t respond to the lack of content.

  8. Opened a Netflix account today, then tried to connect my LG BD570 blue-ray player to their web-side to learn that Netflix Canada doesn’t support this particular model. In the U.S. yes, but not in Canada. How dificult is it to support a specific device, what might ask? Either, I buy another blue-ray player or cancel my subscription. It’ll probably be the latter.

  9. Hi J, Are you sure that the firmware on your BD570 is up to date? We are in the middle of reviewing the LG Smart TV upgrader, which I believe is the same system, and the netflix does work once you complete the activation code. Might want to check LG support. LG is also opening an app store in the summer so keep an eye out for that as well. Can you comment on your situation? Hope that helps!

  10. I have been interested in getting Netflix since if came out last fall but I don’t have and don’t want a credit card. I have a visa debit card which have been used in USA for years. They will not accept the card.I will not buy a temp visa card because they want $5 up front and they charge as service of $2 per month after that. I don’t want to be part of paypal because I have read a lot of horror stories. Too bad Netflix.

  11. I’ll be honest I have it and use it endlessly r my wife says anyways but just buy a credit card gift card they usually work fine but buy it from sobeys cause I find most dont work for that or setup an account with cibc and get a debit card visa card

  12. Content has slowly been improving and if you watch just 2 movies in a month you have already saved money. I am finding the biggest problem is loack of device support in Canada. I see Netflix logo but the device doesnt work in Canada. As far as I am concerned if the device has a Netflix Logo and it is sold in Canada then it should work in Canada. The interface on all devices should be universal as well and a little more user friendly and last but not least My account in Canada should work anywhere in the world. The IP on my laptop shouldnt prevent me from accessing a Canadian website….it is the interenet after all.

  13. I belong to this site and I find it mading that most of the good movies aren’t avabable to canada.
    This is b.s. And the crtc should get there s**t toether and speed things up I would gladly pay for good quality movies that I could watch any time I want. I have satilite now and pay a woopering price for that crap in canada.
    Hurry up Netflix we need you

  14. we have had netflix for about 10 months…usually watch about 4 movies a month, but we also like the access to the British TV shows, and the numerous Documentaries.

    We access the Netflix with a wireless Apple TV box that we bought at London Drugs for $120. With the Apple TV box we can also access Itunes to watch there library of movies…usual ost of a movie is 4.99 to 5.99. We really have not watched TV for months…very satisfied for the cost.

  15. Actually, I think that the main problem is SELECTION. There are much fewer movies and TV series on Netflix in Canada than in the US.

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