Netflix plans to launch in Australia next year

Netflix is gearing up to enter Australia and has reportedly hired local marketing services to plan its launch

Netflix is preparing for a launch in Australia next year, and has started to hire marketing agencies for a big promotional push in 2015, according to a report. The US company, which is one of world’s largest provider of on-demand Internet streaming media, has reportedly hired two agencies, Droga5 and We Are Social, to handle marketing and social media for its launch, and that the streaming service is prepared to spend more than $20 million AUS (around $17 million) on its campaigns, the reports say. However a Netflix spokesperson declined to comment on the report.

An expansion to Australia and later possibly to New Zealand would be a right step since both countries have considerably huge broadband penetration. Almost 98 percent of all internet connections in Australia are now broadband connections, as per recent statistics from the Australian government

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has said in the past that he expects up to 80 percent of Netflix’s revenue to come from international markets in the future, and the company is already seeing more growth internationally that in the U.S. Netflix, which claims to have around 50 million paid subscribers across 40 nations, has also hinted in their job offers that t may also look towards Asia or the Middle East to further grow its international presence.

Netflix secretive about Australian plans
Speculations surrounding the online video streaming company entering Australia first appeared in June with a late 2015 launch originally predicted. But since then, the company is keeping detailed information about its entry in Australia and New Zealand secretive.

Rivals worried over price wars

Netflix entered France in September and soon signed distribution deals with three companies in the region sending a wave of fear among rivals. This is why Australian local players are scrambling to secure their position before the Netflix comes to the country. Ten is reportedly considering a deal with Foxtel while Seven is looking to Quickflix, Optus or perhaps even Foxtel’s Presto.

Nine is the only commercial network to put its cards on the table – teaming up with Fairfax (publisher of this news site) to offer a new streaming service “Stan”, with plans to launch early next year. Stan’s first order of business has been to lock in Breaking Bad as well as exclusive Australian rights to its upcoming spin-off Better Call Saul which starts screening in the US in February.

Stan is expected to cost around $9.99 per month, which is roughly on par with Netflix, says a report. The US market might be big enough to sustain all the Australian contenders, but it’s hard to see three new Australian subscription video services surviving alongside Netflix, Quickflix, Foxtel Play, Presto, Fetch TV and several other free Catch Up TV services.

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About the Author: Akhtar Jamal

Tribune International