While Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) remains a distant second to China Mobile in terms of total subscribers, it has of late been providing its customers with a host of options for content as its CEO Vittorio Colao looks to provide customers with more and more options for entertainment.
Other content arrangements
Just last year, Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) began offering its customers in the U.K. free access to Spotify Ltd. or British Sky Broadcasting Group’s Sky Sports when they sign up for its high-speed, fourth-generation mobile network.
While it may be difficult to find many people in the States without a Netflix account, this is not the case in Europe where Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) is only available in a handful of countries including most of Scandinavia, Ireland, the U.K and Ireland. A deal with Vodafone, however, could give the company quite a bit of a head start in building its business throughout the rest of Europe.
According to sources close to the deal (if it’s fonalized), it would give Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) subscribers free streaming content from Netflix for either six months or a year. The talks are believed to be at an early stage and Vodafone has chosen not to comment.
The companies responses
“We have all kinds of arrangements with all kinds of operators, and we have nothing to say until we announce them,” Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) spokesman Jonathan Friedland said somewhat curtly when contacted last week by Bloomberg News.
While the talks are currently ongoing and still in the early stages, many believe a deal will be reached between the two in the next two to three months. Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) has reached similar agreements in the United States with T-Mobile and Sprint while it partnered with Virgin Media.
Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) has a huge presence in Germany, the largest market in Western Europe, as well as in Spain, Italy and Turkey, all of which have large populations.
Just the lure of watching House of Cards for free along with other original programing such as Orange Is the New Black will likely put some pressure on Europe’s other wireless carriers.