Well, it is official: Netflix are set to launch in Australia and New Zealand in March, 2015. As rumoured a few months ago, Netflix have been quietly partnering with agencies to prepare for the launch for a few months now.
The questions on everyone’s lips are…
What Content will Netflix Australia & New Zealand have?
As someone who has used Netflix in the United States, Britain and Canada, I can say with utmost certainty Australians will not get access to everything US Netflix has or other countries.
This is not to say that Netflix in Australia will not have a decent catalogue, who knows, things could be different. Having said that, it is a welcome foot in the door in any case.
What will Foxtel do about Netflix arriving in Australia?
Besides crapping their pants, expect Foxtel to finally get off its butt and offer a competitive offering with the same, if not, better sized catalogue than Netflix offers.
If Netflix can offer a competitive offering that rivals what Foxtel currently offers in their expensive cable packages, it could seriously hurt Foxtel’s business quite substantially. If Spotify is anything to go on, it will be taken up by many Australians and Kiwis.
How much will Netflix in Australia & New Zealand cost?
While the company has not released pricing information, expect it to cost a few dollars more than the US version as a result of the higher costs of doing business in Australia, around the $15 mark would be a pretty close guesstimate.
Will Netflix launching in Australia reduce piracy?
It might help a little bit. Depending on the size of the catalogue and freshness of content, Netflix has a great opportunity to prove that a lot of Australians pirate because of lack of choice like their US counterparts.
Do not expect Foxtel to give up access to its prized content like The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones without a big fight. And do not expect to see it in Netflix’s catalogue at launch. This most likely means piracy rates will go unchanged for now.
Let us reserve final judgement for when Netflix finally arrives to our shores. I am just happy that it is finally happening, Australia is finally being treated like a first-world country.