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Netflix has announced it recently passed 1 million members in Canada. The streaming giant says it surpassed its own expectations for growth, achieving the milestone in just 10 months.
The 1 millionth member actually registered last month. Amanda Bell James, from Flin Flon, Manitoba, joined Netflix and instantly won a lifetime Netflix membership.
"We're thrilled that Canadians have embraced Netflix so rapidly, and we're equally proud to have welcomed one million members in such a short period," Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO and co-founder, said in a statement. "Our focus remains on building up the breadth and range of movies and TV shows to watch instantly, as well as constantly improving the experience, and we look forward to welcoming many more new members."
Netflix arrived in Canada , the first country to get the service outside of the US, in September 2010. Unlike in the US, the company doesn't have a mail service in Canada, but it does offer unlimited streaming for $8 CAD per month.
Unfortunately, the selection for Canadians is still not as good as what Americans get, but Netflix has been working hard on fixing this. In December 2010, the company announced licensing agreements with content providers All3Media International, CBC, FremantleMedia Enterprises, Global TV, and Maple Pictures. In March 2011, Netflix announced a new five-year licensing agreement with Paramount Pictures specifically for Canada.
Netflix Canada has had one major issue in the country. Earlier this year, the company decided to change the default quality setting for video streams in response to monthly bandwidth data caps set by Canadian Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Users can still switch back to the old option if they do not want to sacrifice quality.
This allows Canadians to watch 30 hours of streaming from Netflix in a month and only consume 9GB of data. Previously, the data ranged from 30GB to 70GB, depending on whether the content was HD or not. Despite the lessening of picture quality with these new settings, Netflix insists "the experience continues to be great."