Neflix launches streaming service in UK and offering free trial.

Market-leading US SVOD service Netflix makes its UK debut today, launching a streaming-only package for unlimited use costing £5.99 in the UK and €6.99 in Ireland.

The company is offering a one-month free trial to anyone.

Internet-connected devices capable of streaming from Netflix include smart TVs, game consoles, Blu-ray players, tablets and mobile phones.

Netflix, which has 20 million subscribers in the US, has been busy locking up UK content deals in recent months, including with Disney UK & Ireland, Lionsgate UK, MGM, Miramax, Momentum Pictures, NBCUniversal, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Viacom International Media Networks, ITV, All3Media, the BBC, CBS and Channel 4’s 4oD.

The service will be a direct competitor to the local SVOD market-leader LoveFilm, which has a number of physical and streaming packages ranging from £5.99 to £14.99.

“We are starting 2012 in the best possible way: by giving consumers in the UK and Ireland an amazing entertainment experience,” said Reed Hastings, co-founder and chief executive officer of Netflix.

Despite Warner Bros’ renewed announcement of the ‘second pay tv window’ last week, which ensures Netflix customers must wait 56 days for new rental releases rather than the current 28 days, Netflix shares were up 9% on Friday, finishing up on a strong 24.5% gain for the week.