How do you translate binge-watch into Italian? It's an important question to ponder as streaming service Netflix became available across Italy starting midnight Wednesday, The Local reported.
Adding more good news for Italian cinephiles, Netflix made the first month of the service free to subscribers. Purchasers had three plans to choose from. The basic package cost 7.99 euros and allows for streaming on one device in standard quality. Other packages cost 9.99 and 11.99 euros and offer high-definition picture quality and streaming on more than one device. The 9.99 price will reportedly allow for HD streaming and two devices, while the 11.99 plan allows for four devices and 4K video, according to Telecompaper, a telecommunications site.
What has become an American pastime is now available to anyone in Italy with a computer, table, console, smartphone or smart television. Netflix does have some Italian competition however, including Mediaset and Sky Italia, both of which recently launched on-demand streaming services. But both services are more expensive than Netflix, which sweetened the deal for potential Italian customers with the one-month-free offer.
Netflix reportedly plans to offer original Italian content, featuring a ten-part Italian series called "Suburra" in the works, the Local reported. To help smoothen the move into the foreign market, Netflix has allowed users to chose from a number of language and subtitle options.
Unfortunately for those shelling out cash, some of the service's most popular American offerings will not be made available to Italian users. Popular Netflix original shows "House of Cards" and "Orange is the New Black" will not be available to Italian subscribers because the rights have already been sold to Sky Italia.
The move into Italy is just the latest delve into European markets for Netflix, which is already available in Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The Wall Street Journal reported in June that the service aimed to expand to 200 countries by the end of 2016, and to be profitable globally by 2017.
Prior to the Italian launch, Netflix began offering service in Spain Tuesday. The New York Times reported Netflix, which is now offered in more than 50 countries, faces challenges in the new markets, including offering local-language content the European audience enjoys and cannot found elsewhere. The service has struggle to attract a customer base in France, for instance, with just 700,000 people signed up one year after Netflix became available in the country.