Netflix Probably Won't Kill Your US Account When It Launches In Australia

Cliff Edwards is Netflix's director of corporate communications and technology, and he confirmed yesterday that while he's not into the idea of Aussies using their VPNs to access the service, there's not much the company can do about it come Australian launch time.

"It's hard to track someone down who is a VPN-er," he said, after I told him that I was one myself.

He flinched, and added "we believe that it's against our terms of service, we believe content owners should be paid," he added.

"We do try to track down [VPN] folks, but it's a game of whack-a-mole: no company can track them all down."

It's believed that Netflix in Australia has between 200,000 to 300,000 Aussie users who take advantage of VPN technology to spoof their way into using Netflix Down Under. Netflix, however, isn't hugely concerned about the (unsubstantiated) numbers of Aussies currently tuning into the service from Australia via VPN tunnels.

"While we don't believe it is 200,000 [Australian users], there are 6 million broadband-enabled homes in Australia," Edwards added, implying that the majority of users in Australia aren't tunnelling their way into the US for access to the premiere streaming service.

Edwards also warned that in the lead up to the Netflix launch in March 2015, we're likely to see Australian TV executives threatened by the service spread more than a little BS.

"Every market we launch in is kind of hostile. What happens is that there's a lot of FUD out there before we launch. Incumbents have fear and hysteria, but we're actually a compliment to them.

"The broadband providers benefit [from our launch] because people want a bigger pipe for content, and we give filmmakers the chance to be seen before a global audience.

"We don't want to kill channels or force people to cut any cords. We're about giving people more choice," he said.


Comments

    He flinched, and added “we believe that it’s against our terms of service, we believe content owners should be paid,” he added.

    Content owners are still getting paid. They just aren't getting as much because Australia has learned that they were being ripped off and have found ways to pay the same amount for content as their US counterparts.

      The problem is that the wrong subsidiary of the multinational conglomerate is getting paid.

      This is a real problem, since it reduces the value of regional exclusivity deals, and could eventually lead to them having to treat the entire world as a single market.

        This is a real problem, since it reduces the value of regional exclusivity deals, and could eventually lead to them having to treat the entire world as a single market.

        No the real problem is that they are trying to segment the global market. Cut out the middlemen and reduce the price a bit (but not as much as you save). People get cheaper content, more content, Netflix and the studios get more money. Everyone wins. No one loses except the middle men. Screw them.

        How is it bad to treat the world as a single market? Didn't hurt Amazon when they launched their Kindle store, you pay the same price with a currency conversion fee to access the same content, why then would Netflix care, if they had to raise their prices by a couple dollars a month for all their services to be able to provide a global service and provide the same content to everyone, it's not going to kill them, but probably help them in the long run, especially if they're cheaper than the Australian content providers

          My post was quite clearly tongue in cheek.

          As for Amazon's Kindle store, it only works that way for a small minority of books on sale. If you view Amazon.com from the US, you will see a different selection of ebooks at different prices compared to what you see when you browse the site from Australia. And if you're in the US but log in using an Australian Amazon account, it will refuse to sell you any of those books.

          The editions presented to Australia come from the the commonwealth subsidiaries of the publishing companies, similar to how we get different paper editions of the books compared to the US.

            TBH, I didn't realise it was tongue in cheek either.

              Fair enough. I thought the fact that none of the "bad" things I mentioned were actually bad was enough of a clue.

        "This is a real problem, since it reduces the value of regional exclusivity deals, and could eventually lead to them having to treat the entire world as a single market."

        Yeah ... heaven forbid globalisation actually BENEFITS the consumers for a change :)

      This really does seem like a missed opportunity to immediately ask why content owners aren't getting paid for accounts accessed through VPNs.
      "Oh, well... they are, but... it's complicated. And we have scripts we need to read when talking about this shit."

    You can still sign up to an AU account and use a VPN / DNS service to access the U.S. version. Depends which works out to be the cheapest really.

      or you can use both - I considered getting English Netflix for the stuff I miss out on.
      Why would Netflix kill an income stream when it can become its own competition? Not enough shows on Netflix Aus? use Netflix US, and ignore the Foxtel RAAAGE!!

      This is what I plan on doing. I'm going to change my subscription to the AU version (assuming it's roughly the same price), so that their AU numbers look decent and can take that to Fuxtel and go "hahahaha dumbarses. Look at what you missed out on". I'll keep my VPN as there's lots of content on different regions that I like.

    It’s hard to track someone down who is a VPN-er
    More like impossible unless your sniffing their outgoing connection at their home, even then would any of our ISP's actually invade our privacy just for the cause?

      Not really, methods do exist. This sounds more like they don't really want to try very hard to block access.

      VPN connections from AU (and the rest of the world) would be coming out of common IP-range endpoints at their destination. If they didn't already have records of these, all they'd have to do is identify any IP address ranges that aren't part of the local US telcos' backbones and keep an eye on them for a while. Usage peaks at strange times of the day (our early evening, their dead of night) and other factors can make it easy enough to identify a VPN endpoint.

      While I've never had a problem with Netflix via VPN, Hulu Plus did block me as a non-US connection until I went with another solution (GetFlix). After that it worked fine again.

    “We don’t want to kill channels or force people to cut any cords. We’re about giving people more choice,” he said.

    Couldn't agree more. The way of getting content has changed. We should be allowed to get what we want when we want. The days of waiting for our dinosaur tv networks to air the latest episodes and tv series are over. We want to pay for content. Until they stop forcing their broken system people will keep pirating.

    I pressed " remember me " why go through this rigmarole every time lifehacker?
    Hey FTA networks,why not have a dedicated night ( Thursday) to sci fi ( US geek ) shows and stay up to date,a day or two behind max,then we can enjoy conversing on the latest episodes WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD

    P.s .its all about advertising.i have no problem with someone whacking the bad guy with an " arco steel" fry pan ,coz it cleans the blood off easier.can of worms.im trying to watch ,say ,Grimm,but no TV guides say what episode/season.hence.......

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