California based Netflix announced last week that its online video subscription service now has over one million subscribers in Canada.
The popular service, lets English speaking customers stream a broad array of movies and TV episodes to their home computer or Netflix enabled consumer electronic devices for $7.99 per month. A French version of the service is still in the works.
The company, which launched in Canada last September, added approximately 200,000 new Canadian subscribers in the second quarter of 2011. While growth remains strong, the number of new subscribers was down from the first quarter when Netflix signed up 290,000 new subscribers. The first 510,000 Netflix customers came on board in the September to December period of 2010.
The relative weakness in growth of new subscribers is likely due to the growing concern among consumers that using the service could result in them exceeding their Internet service providers cap which could result in having to paying exorbitant overage charges.
To address this concern, the company lowered its default picture quality in March in order to reduce the bandwidth consumed when streaming shows and movies. The default is now a 300 Megabyte per hour stream instead of a 700 MB per hour stream resulting in about a two-thirds reduction in internet traffic.
For consumers watching 30 hours a month, about an hour a day, of Netflix, it means the default streaming rate will incur about 9 GB of internet traffic usage a month which should keep most users well below the cap.
Although the default setting were lowered, Netflix continues to offer subscribers multiple video quality settings for standard definition video long with a High Definition video stream which consumes about 2.3 GB per hour.
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