200,000 Australians can’t be wrong: Netflix is something that probably should come to Australia in an official capacity. Which is a good thing, because based on all the information we have so far, we’re very close to an official launch of Netflix, in the land Down Under.
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For those out of the loop, Netflix is a DVD rental service that, similar to the existing Aussie service Quickflix, sends DVDs out to people via the post for them to rent, enjoy and then send back. The real game-changer that has caught the attention of hundreds and thousands of Australians, however, is the company’s Netflix Instant product, which allows users to use any device, any browser and any machine connected to the internet to stream an almost infinite library of content for the low, low price of $US8 per month.
Australia has been in a wasteland for cheap and liberated access to content in the last five years, with free to air broadcasters and pay TV giant, Foxtel, maintaining a stranglehold over new shows and movies, running them to an antiquated schedule that doesn’t suit the right here, right now habits of modern viewers. These networks have gradually attempted to offer more relevant products to modern viewers crying out for cheap streaming services with the launch of products like Foxtel Play and a myriad of free-to-air catch-up services.
For this reason, Australians are flocking to sign up for VPN services in a bid to access Netflix Instant. VPN tunnels make Netflix think that the computer is actually accessing the content from the US, lifting the geoblock wall and making the content available.
It’s something that has drawn the ire of the Australian television and streaming industries, with local executives slamming the practice as “piracy”, simply because the content being accessed by Australians via Netflix isn’t licensed to be viewed in the local market.
But while the local industry throws stones, Netflix has been quietly tooling away in Australia, working on a local launch.
Gizmodo Australia understands that the streaming giant currently operates out of an office in the Sydney CBD, working quietly to establish local connections with agencies, marketers and other support structures.
mUmbrella revealed today that it believes Netflix’s Australian operation has recently signed itself up with new creative and social marketing agencies, which indicates that the launch of the Instant product in Australia is just around the corner.
The report indicates that a multi-million dollar marketing blitz will flood the Australian market in the coming months.
Like it or not, Australian TV industry: Netflix is coming. [mUmbrella]