Netflix launching streaming service outside of US

Netflix's CEO Reed Hastings has told journalists in a conference call that his company will be launching a streaming-only service, which will let users watch movies online without having to subscribe to the DVDs-by-mail part of the service that the company offers.

Most interestingly, the streaming-only option won't be available to US customers, where the service is based. Instead it'll be in an undisclosed international market. Hastings wouldn't say which one "for competitive reasons" - indicating that it could be a market with a similar service already on offer.

The service is slated to launch in late 2010 and start in just one location before opening up into more territories slowly. The movie industry is still very focused on physical products like DVDs, and Netflix may find it tricky to license its catalogue in other countries for that reason.

When we hear more about this project, and where it's going to be based, we'll be sure to let you know.