Netflix CEO Reed Hastings On The NBN, Piracy And Launching In Australia


Reed Hastings is the brains behind the brains of Netflix. He's the guy who started it way back when, and he's now bringing it to Australia. We sat down with Hastings: why now to launch in Australia? Why does he have a broken leg? Will it have Australian-made Original content when it launches here and why is piracy something he's really afraid of?


The Broken Billionaire

"We have to take you to Reed now," says the PR person shepherding me around Netflix's Los Gatos headquarters. "That's weird," I thought. Reed doesn't have an office in the Netflix HQ because he's a hip, young CEO that likes to get amongst the people. You know.

Being taken to see him means he's being fenced off somewhere, which seems counter-productive for a CEO of the people. Then I realised why.

Reed was trying to be too cool, too young and too hip, and broke his leg snowboarding last month. Still, he's not letting it get him down today when he has to meet the Australian press to talk about why the hell it's finally coming Down Under.

Hastings apologises for his lack of mobility after he shakes my hand and we sit back down.

"I'm not meant to put weight on it but it's not too bad," he assures me before I ask how exactly it happened. He tells me about how he was trying to follow his 17-year old son down a snow run on "vacation" last month before it all went horribly wrong.

"He drops down into these trees," he says, referring to his son, "and I just go flying down after him...and I just couldn't make the turn. And then, there's this tree. Boom!."

I jump slightly as the ashen-haired near-billionaire (he's reportedly worth $878 million) bounces up in his chair like a guy who has a broken leg probably shouldn't be doing.

"Sort of snapped the femur right here. It was one month ago yesterday. They put a pin in," he says, pointing to his left leg and smiling.

He's all about doing things that he shouldn't be doing, though. In his official headshot Reed Hastings looks a bit like a child who has done something naughty, and in a way, he is. Since it launched its Instant streaming product in 2007, Netflix has been making the film industry look foolish. Not the studio heavyweights that Netflix relies on to sign distribution deals, but the people who work for them who help to design catch-up services that 21st century customers can actually use.

In a week, Netflix will launch in Australia: the streaming service's 52nd market in its quest to "go global".

My first question for Hastings was obviously, "why now?". Australia has been a streaming entertainment wasteland for years, and it's a plight that Netflix has been extremely conscious of.

Way back in 2013, Netflix flogged the rights to House Of Cards, its flagship Original (proper noun, Original), to Foxtel. Foxtel also picked up the second season too.

So why didn't the service just throw caution to the wind and launch Down Under back then? Well, it was a matter of fibre connectivity and decent data caps, which we didn't have three to five years ago. Back then, the National Broadband Network was still a pipe dream.

"NBN was a big factor [for launching in Australia]. NBN's what got us to think 'let's get in there and go now', and it's really viable from a technology standpoint. With NBN, Australia has jumped to be one of the leaders in the world in internet infrastructure," says Reed Hastings.

"We've been watching the Australian market for a number of years. Five years ago most of the residential plans had fairly low [data] caps and you had BigPond with Telstra and [certain] data was exempted and others wasn't so it was pretty cosy and Telstra...I'm searching for a better word than dominated," he laughed, "was a powerful market player there."

Australia has since raised its data caps, but Hastings would rather see them abolished than raised again. Instead, he wants ISPs to sell speed rather than caps.

"There's no reason for data caps. We want to make the internet unmetered. Period. The capped model is antiquated: we want to make it about speed. 10Mbps will cost more than 1Mbps and 50Mbps will cost more than 10Mbps and that makes sense. Historically, there was so little content in Australia that many users went over the international links and those are pretty expensive, but now there's more and more content and content caching in Australia.

"Canada is a good example. Four years ago? Really low data caps. Like 10GB overall. That's lower than Mexico, [Canada] had third-world internet. Over the four years that we've been there, the usage has grown and almost all of the ISPs have got rid of their caps," he says.

He adds that he'd certainly like to see Aussie ISPs drop data caps, but laughs that "they don't really care what we feel."

In the meantime, Netflix has managed to hammer out unmetered streaming deals with some of Australia's major ISPs, including Optus and iiNet.

Now Read: Building Netflix Australia: How Netflix Is Gearing Up For The Land Down Under

Selling speed instead of a data cap is certainly a dream scenario when the National Broadband Network becomes more ubiquitous. It's built as a tiered service so ISPs can offer different tiers, be they 25Mbps down or 100Mbps down.

Despite the fact that Australia's tech faithful may have lost faith in the NBN due to the political fracas over it, Netflix is looking at the bigger picture.

"NBN was a big factor [for launching in Australia]. NBN's what got us to think 'let's get in there and go now', and it's really viable from a technology standpoint.

"With NBN, Australia has jumped to be one of the leaders in the world in internet infrastructure and the idea that the fundamental fibre backbone is going to get — knock on wood — 97 per cent of people to at least the neighbourhood is unlike anything that has ever been done in the history of the world. That really got our attention," he says.

Despite his optimism about Australia's infrastructure, however, he acknowledges that politics has got in the way of the dream.

"It's been harder with the NBN than has been thought. It's been pretty predictable and the new government doesn't like the old government plans as much — just typical stuff right? Still, the fundamental idea of fibre for all is very powerful and will make Australia one of the digital meccas of the world," he says restoring his wry smile which slipped slightly while talking about a slow-down in infrastructure deployment. His feelings mimic our own.



Netflix's Los Gatos office

Still, Netflix reckons it can deploy its streaming products even in nations with worse infrastructure than Australia's. Reed points to Mexico as an example, adding that if engineers can figure out how to cover Mexico, it can figure out how to service rural Australia.

"We're really strong in Mexico which is a DSL nation. We figured out how to adapt and there's a lot of experience there we can carry over to rural parts of Australia, but we're betting forward that speeds will increase rapidly partially because of the attention of Presto, Stan and Netflix and the use of video. Consumers care more about their broadband speed as opposed to just doing Facebook and email on their connections."

And there's the rub: Netflix knows it won't be alone in the Australian market when it launches next week. All of a sudden, Australia is a paradise for content streamers: something that surprised Hastings.

Fight!

"I've never seen anything like it where there's no good internet [streaming] services for five years and then three, boom," he says, mimicking an explosion with his hands.

"The competition between us [Stan, Presto and Netflix] will be fun and intense and great for Australians. We're all going to scramble for content with these services," Hastings says of his new Aussie streaming competitors, both of which have at least a three month head start.

When Australian TV executives collectively realised that their consumers were beating a path to Netflix's proverbial front door to use the service via VPNs, the collective race started to build a competitive product before Netflix could lace up its shoes to race for dollars Down Under.

The Nine Network and Fairfax Media, two of the oldest media companies in the nation, came together to build Stan: the newest player on the block, and Foxtel wedged its armada of content into a stand-alone streaming app it's calling Presto. Foxtel has also teamed up with Seven to bolster its TV content.


Disclosure: Stan is a 50/50 joint venture between Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media. Allure Media, the company which publishes Gizmodo Australia, is also owned by Fairfax.

Hastings bears no ill will to his competitors, instead saying that it's exciting that there's a friendly rivalry going on for the on-demand streaming dollar right now.

"A lot of people will subscribe to multiple services just like newspapers, people subscribe to multiple papers," he says casually of his Australian competitors.

Netflix is no stranger to a fight. It knows it has to win hearts and minds of potential users before it can even begin to engage in a battle with its competitors in the same space.

"Our challenge in every market is to get across this idea that you get to watch whenever you want. People have had 50 years of linear TV and shows on at 8pm. For a TV show, why shouldn't it just be on when you want to watch it? It's like going from fixed line phones to mobile phones: it became this idea that you can make calls while driving. It's a radical idea! Now it's ubiquitous and fixed line is heading down. We're going through one of those big transformations now.

"Linear TV will be like fixed line telephones in 10 years: it will still be around in a bunch of homes but it will go down and down and down. There will be some key things [that bring people back to linear TV]: when there's a war people watch the news and when a sport match is on and that kind of thing, but for all of the entertainment viewing, it's all going to be on demand in 10 years."

Netflix also wants to wrest people away from piracy when it sets up in a new market. In Australia, Hastings has his work cut out for him there.

I told him: "Our Attorney-General thinks we're the worst pirating nation on the planet...", before he cut me off mid-question: "I doubt that," laughs Reed. "It's certainly a good headline!"

The laughter dies down slightly and his serious face comes back.

"The VPN thing is a small little asterisk compared to piracy," he confesses.

"I've never seen anything like it where there's no good internet [streaming] services for five years and then three, boom," Hastings says, mimicking an explosion with his hands.

By "the VPN thing", Hastings means users accessing Netflix from Australia when they shouldn't be. Using digital connections to mask the fact that they're hailing from Australia in order to access the service. It's an ongoing problem for Netflix which has specific content agreements in place not to export certain content outside of a particular territory, and one it's always trying to fix. Clearly Hastings would rather give up the fight against dodgy VPNs if he could win the war against piracy instead.

"Piracy is really the problem around the world. The VPN scenario is someone who wants to pay and can't quite pay. The basic solution is for Netflix to get global and have its content be the same all around the world so there's no incentive to [use a VPN]. Then we can work on the more important part which is piracy.

"The key thing about piracy is that some fraction of it is because [users] couldn't get the content. That part we can fix. Some part of piracy however is because they just don't want to pay. That's a harder part. As an industry, we need to fix global content," he says resolutely.

Netflix isn't just fighting to change the habits of its users and the world's pirates, though. It's also fighting a battle for net neutrality in the US. A battle it hopes not to have to import into Australia against local ISPs. Hastings wants to get Aussie ISPs on-side as quickly as possible with the streaming dream proposition.

"It's hard to say [if we'll have to fight a net neutrality battle in Australia]. Most of the ISPs, we've been talking to them, and they're embracing us because they get to sell bigger plans...so there's a lot of positives for them in terms of revenue in that way. But in any society where the internet becomes important, the public doesn't want it to be controlled by the ISP," he says.

"Consumers don't want the ISP changing the ads or monitoring it like what am I watching, what am I not? They don't want the ISP limiting the options. They can go to BigPond but not Netflix, something like that. The more the internet becomes important in a society the more it's thought of like a fundamental utility like water and electricity, and not something to be manipulated by the supplier. That varies a little by country, but on balance if you look around the world, Australia's the only country that's trying to pull off NBN. More than any country it's had an attitude of acceptable public investment so it can become a digital nation and I wish more homes had it now."

Australian Originals?

The big question Australian content creators want answered is whether or not Netflix will contribute to the pool of home-grown content while it's here.

Hastings is cagey on that, but argues that it has been bringing Aussie content to the world for years now.

"There was a show previously in Australia called H20 that was sort of a regional favourite four years ago. We worked with the producer to take it global and it's now huge in Canada and Mexico. We're working on a follow-on production. Now, it's not super high-brow, it's not going to win an art award, but it's actually very enjoyable! That's how we work with producers around the world to create big markets for them," he says.

And indeed, he's right. H20: Just Add Water was an old teen show which originally aired back in 2006 and starred Phoebe Tonkin (who has since gone on to star in Tomorrow, When The War Began and The Vampire Diaries, among others).

The original trailer for H20: Just Add Water

Netflix noticed its potential, and gave it a pseudo-reboot in 2013. Mako: Island Of Secrets aired on Ten in 2013, but on Netflix it had the title Mako Mermaids: An H20 Adventure. Season two kicked off on Netflix in 2015 and there's another planned for 2016.

While Hastings won't be drawn on Australian content specifics, he adds that the Mako Mermaids model is something the company will look to repeat once it sets up shop here.

"Definitely in terms of Australian Originals, it's not the first thing we do when we open but we launched an original in Norway — Lillehammer — and we've got one now that's being produced in Mexico for August and we've got one filming in Columbia that's the story and history of cocaine, we've got another one set in France and Marseilles which is about the politics, all filmed in France. We produce them locally for the globe. Look to us to do that: find great stories to tell that are set in Australia with Australian talent but are global phenomenons."

We look for something that's unusual, [something] that people get excited about. Stuff that after you watch you want to tell a friend about. There's content you watch and just shrug about, and then there's content that's like 'oh my God you've gotta see this show!'. Thaaaat's the content we look for. That fresh angle."

Recommended For Reed

Underneath the careful consideration of where to steer his streaming empire next, Hastings is just a California dude who likes to chill (despite the fact that he was born in Boston).

"The Interview I watched again on Sunday and that's great. I tend to be drama, comedy and some stand-up when I watch. There's a show called Maron about comedian Marc Maron, and my kids'd look at it and go 'like, boring!' but it's different shows for different people, I guess."

"I'm not a big sports guy," he adds, going through the list of other media he enjoys, "but I like some YouTube and viral videos. I don't game at all, I missed that. It's generational! I'm 54 and when I was growing up I was in the arcade with Pong and it was like 'that's ok!', I remember playing that as a teenager but the big console generations kicked off, and now there's a new generation. Like my 17-year-old is totally into DOTA 2 and spends hours and hours. We've got all the consoles and he's bored of it! These big online games is what his friends do so he does that."

At the end of our half-hour together I'm ushered out of the meeting room and back into the funky Netflix offices and ask my PR chaperone if I can get a photo of Reed on his crutches. The blank, terrified faces tell me everything I need to know.

Despite the fact that Netflix is confident it can win the Australian market, it's still concerned about optics. The war for hearts and minds is already on, and you're the target.


Coming Soon...

Like it or not, Netflix is coming to the weird island on the bottom of the Earth, so that the millions of people who screamed for it for months will be happy. Soon, Australia will have more decent streaming services than it has had in its history, and we'll be there to cover it.

Over the next week we'll bring you exclusive interviews and galleries in the lead-up to the launch.

Luke Hopewell travelled to Los Gatos as a guest of Netflix.


Comments

    They need to start talking about what will actually be available on Netflix Australia.

      Mermaid Shows. Heaps of em.

        *throws wallet at Australian Netflix website*

      And how much it's going to cost us.

        Less than we think. Netflix have said that they won't be charging GST. http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/netflix-wont-charge-australians-gst-20150318-1m1sit.html

        I think its already been announced to be $9.99 a month. But whether thats the basic package which doesn't include HD or simultaneous device playback like the US one hasn't been said.

      Not really. other markets have thousands of titles. Consumers' tastes are so different that it would be silly to try and make a list or advertise them.

      There's a free trail. If you want to know if the content suits you, sign up and start clicking around.

    "With NBN, Australia has jumped to be one of the leaders in the world in internet infrastructure.”

    Yeah... That is until the Liberals won government and completely neutered the whole project before it could even get going.

      Exactly. Has. past tense.

        actually in that context it means that aus became one of the leaders.

        The more appropriate phrasing would be "With NBN, Australia jumped to be one of the leaders in the world in internet infrastructure, but was shot down by Turnbbot and fell back to the bottom.”

        Although labor screwed it up first, but libs took a dump on it and called it ice cream.

          bloody libs have screwed this country big time

            To be fair, both political parties have screwed/are screwing us. Labor left us with an increasing mountain of debt to fund their socialist agenda, and the Liberals are trying hard to implement their capitalist agenda. Neither has really helped the country.

          I'm not convinced Turnbull actually believes the current plan is the best option, quite possible he's towing the party line as the minister for communications.

            I agree its a possibility Turnball is a stooge for Abbott's (and liberal party's) luddite, 1% loving, elitist (to say the least) leanings. Doesn't make him any less culpable.

      have you seen the suburbs it's currently active in! yeah need i say more.

      Plus we get the watered down version, lacks content and is exactly the same as Foxtel, overpriced for the crap they provide. This statistic floating around that Australia is the biggest pirater as well is bullox. Look at our population vs any other country, yes statistically speaking im sure a large portion of the population does illegally download but come on. 27 Million vs Americas 400 Million plus. Please we're small fries in the scheme of anything. Plus with our bllsht free to air servies and complete lock down of all broadcasting agencies not allowing new competitors to the market, no wonder we look elsewhere for a solution to our problem.

      The JUBS running this country care more about pleasing their rupert murdochs and American corporate overlords then our general day to day wellbeing. Stop picking on the small fry with empty pockets and go after the big corporate tax dodgers etc. WTF is prosecuting a penniless suburban person downloading movies going to achieve? bankruptcy for them and a general populous who will get the shts pretty quick with being picked on for such a meaningless crime.

    I wish everyone would shut up about piracy. Australia is such a small market and what few people do pirate that these companies stand to lose miniscule amounts of money. Hell, even the money they do make from Australia is tiny compared to what they make in the rest of the world. All this beat up about pirating is just BS that the gov wants to be a smokescreen for more important issues.

      "Australia is such a small market and what few people do pirate that these companies stand to lose miniscule amounts of money"

      Not really true.

      "All this beat up about pirating is just BS that the gov wants to be a smokescreen for more important issues."

      This is more on the money.

      Trouble is, those "minuscule amounts of money" you mention, are still "amounts of money" that the companies want in their pockets.

        Trouble is, most people who pirate would not buy it if piracy was not an option. So not really using money.

          This is EXACTLY what the content companies still don't understand!

        Well JB, if they want my money then they better change their business practice. I never pirate music anymore because they changed the way I could buy music. Until they do I'm happy to keep watching pop corn time for free.

      Ok, I'll take $20 a week from your pay and see how you like it.

        How about I give you a photocopy of $20. That way pepee63 still has his $20 to do with as he pleases not knowing that you an inferior copy. I don't know pepee63, he may get angry knowing you have a bad copy of $20. He may ask you to give him $100 because you got a photocopy of $20 from somewhere that wasn't him. Funny how pepee63 didn't even notice the photocopy of the $20 being out there. There could be 1000's of photocopy $20 and amazingly it does not devalue the $20 pepee63 has. So with all these photocopies of $20 floating around quite a few people would be tempted to go out and get a real $20 since it is better than a photocopy. They may not have wanted $20 till they could see a photocopy.

        So now you have a photocopy of $20. If you want a real $20 then go and get one of you own Maybe you will like a real $20 and you will get other one.

          There is a fairly major flaw in your analogous argument.

          Let's analyse your analogy for a moment. If we were to make a good, usable copy of pepee63's $20 note, then there is now an additional $20 of cash floating around in the economy. Probably not going to make much of a dent. If, however, there was a thousand copies of Pepee63's $20 note floating around, and several hundred thousand others also made similar copies of their $20 notes, then a large amount of unexpected cash has just been thrown into the economy that the Reserve Bank didn't authorise. This will push the price of goods up by a large percentage, inciting more people to make more copies of their $20 notes as everything become more expensive (hell, why not start using $100 notes), causing runaway inflation. The original $20 becomes worthless, and our country ends up in ruin. That's kinda why copying money is a little bit illegal.

          Just as a recipient of a copied $20 note is very unlikely to say "wow, I like this good copy of a $20 note, I think I'll go pay to get a real note", someone who downloads a pirate copy of a movie is very unlikely (in the main) to say "I enjoyed watching that movie that is now seeding in my uTorrent for thousands of others to also download and enjoy, tomorrow I will invest my time into seeking out a legal copy and I will buy it".

          Good content costs money to produce, distribute, promote, etc. It is perfectly fair and reasonable to expect to contribute to that cost as a consumer of that content which gives you enjoyment and therefore enriches your life in some way. It is also absolutely fair to challenge the content owner's business models in the same way that we did for the music industry, but let's not attempt to defend piracy, which is unavoidably blatant stealing. There is no argument that stacks up supporting any form of unauthorised copying and distribution of content as a fair and reasonable business model.

            It is the most logical thing in the world and you fail the understand any of it. Answer in 6 hours.

    Australia will continue to lag behind because the drivers at the wheel are, in their mind, in unchartered territory.

    We really do not have a competent Telecommunications Minister, the same as our Treasurer has no clue about the digital economy., and I'm not saying this from a political view or anything, just based on the technical facts.

    We need to transform Australia via legislation the same way Singapore picked itself up via legislation. We can't afford to manufacture cars or anything else so we need to provide the research and software development and IT services and Media communities with the support they need. Those $500M now going to the car industry that have all stated were going to close will be pocketed by the overseas shareholders. Someone wipe the windshield for these drivers!

    Not all pirates would buy or rent as many movies if they were to give up pirating so I do think that these companies are losing far less money than they think. I'll watch 10 prayed movies in a month but if I stopped and just rented movies instead, I'd only rent the really good movies and not the semi good ones. For those I'd wait until they became weekly movies at blockbuster and then I'd only have to pay 10 dollars for ten movies.

      All the squawking about piracy is just lawyers justifying their existence. If piracy were so bad that it was impinging the ability of smart companies like Netflix to shape a much better and rational distribution system - eliminating a lot of the middleman waste that diverts profits and drives up costs - then I'd be worried but clearly this evolution is happening on schedule and piracy is not inhibiting it in the least. In fact, soft piracy (VPNs) is helping - seeding the market for Netflix by creating awareness and demand.

      And I say this as someone who has never pirated a damn thing. No rationalization here.

    What is this fibre he speaks of, how do we acquire it... Oh that's right.

    “The key thing about piracy is that some fraction of it is because [users] couldn’t get the content. That part we can fix. Some part of piracy however is because they just don’t want to pay. That’s a harder part. As an industry, we need to fix global content,” he says resolutely.

    While the above is certainly true there's another often-overlooked reason that some people pirate and it all comes back to connection speed. As I can only get 8mbps down (and that bandwidth is shared between multiple users) I can't stream anything better than SD, while having enough bandwidth left over to use the net for other purposes. With torrents on the other hand, I can take my time to download a movie in 720p/1080p overnight, and watch it at my leisure, without buffering and without affecting the available bandwidth for other people in the house. After being spoilt by the many Blu-rays I own, I consider 720p to be minimum acceptable quality for film and TV.

    Once I can eventually get the NBN (preferably a 50mbps or greater connection) I'll have enough bandwidth to stream 720p in real time without significantly slowing down the net, and the above situation will become irrelevant. When this happens I'll be subscribing to Netflix in a heartbeat, but as it stands now I just can't deal with streaming content in crappy 480p/576p.

    Weird that there is no mention of their likely biggest competitor - Quickflix. Also will they not be just as limited as everyone else in content other than their own productions?

      As somebody who subbed to Quickflix for a few months when they launched, I'm not sure that they really count as a competitor. Their content library just isn't big enough.

      May have changed since I cancelled, but from what I've heard... not much.

      It all comes down to licensing and clout. Netflix are so big now that they can almost dictate terms to content providers. Quickflix are, comparatively, a minnow.

      Netflix has done a reasonable job licensing outside content that is in high demand. Not as good as they should be doing, but this international expansion is part of the problem. They are spending money they could be using to license still more in-demand stuff.

      But I can see why they're doing it in this order - by moving into global markets, they are staking a claim that competitors will find difficult to dislodge. And once they've got a global toe-hold, they will have leverage to negotiate better deals from content makers.

      So as a long-term plan, this works. In the short term, it annoys me that I can't see The Americans and Better Call Saul in Netflix, but someday...

    The Netflix app popped up on my Wii u yesterday. I tried it, it wasn't particularly good, so I went back to chromecasting from my phone.

    It's the thought that counts.

    “I’ve never seen anything like it where there’s no good internet [streaming] services for five years and then three, boom,” he says, mimicking an explosion with his hands.

    Thats why we need more Internet companies to come here, its why we need the local pricing on foreign good like Video Games to drop to the same price as US. No more Australian Taxes, No more excuses... it we can explode 3 Stearming Service Providers into existance overnight, WTF does everything else take forever, or not change at all.

    Also if Netflix didnt waste its opportunity and take their sweet time, they could of stealthed into Australia and just said "Tomorrow we install Netflix Server Architecture at iiNet we switch them on as soon as they are stressed tested, we welcome any other ISPs to put their hands up and we will start installations with them this week, we are ready, are you ready Australia" *microphone drop*

    poor poor 4k... just a pipe dream... if I can buffer it enough I might be able to get 5 mins of it...
    THE FUTURE
    many many people are going to be very angry, lets hope they use their anger to get FTTP

    Even if Netflix Australia doesn't have all the content that America has, the idea here is that as Netflix grows into a global giant - and broadcast/cable/DVD delivery collapses - the content makers will have fewer distribution options to play one off the other, and will end up having to license their shows to just a few global streaming companies - Netflix, Amazon, maybe Apple if they play their cards right - and that's the point at which libraries will equalize across the globe although you might have to subscribe to two of the services if your tastes are broad or you absolutely must see this or that show.

    This will put a dent in piracy but not eliminate it entirely, because there are always people who will steal if there's no reasonable expectation of being caught. But it won't actually matter much, just a rounding error in the overall global entertainment biz, which will be very healthy if you're a Netflix or an Amazon and maybe a bit depressing for the Hollywood studios who realize that their options are narrowing greatly, but that's what they get for being dinosaurs and not paying attention to the smart, fast little mammals evolving in Silicon Valley.

    can i get a tldr please? i'm interested but too many words

      Sure. Here goes:

      The billionaire CEO of a media content provider is a great, hip guy. Australian internet should be measured by speed, not download amount. Net neutrality. There's already a few internet content providers in Australia. Netflix is remaking Australian afternoon teen tv shows.

    I want to know how much content is missing on these services. I signed upto Stan. And already have cancelled.

    I started to put a spreadsheet together to see how much was missing. It did not look good for stan but i would love for people to add to this sheet info on other shows and other service providers. Just to see how bad they are.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1uNULszVQgyiHERkPRHz4PvEAFbBFiuMM8kcILvVw3VQ/edit?usp=sharing

    So if people could add to the sheet and lets see how crap the content is or will they come up showing alot of content.

    Back then, the National Broadband Network was still a pipe dream.

    It still is. Most of the population don't have access to it and the odds aren't looking good for us to have it prior to 2020.

    Can you ask netflix if they would ever consider doing live sport?

    There is some rumours floating around that Netflix will look at bidding for the next AFL rights
    (which i find extremely unlikely to impossible)

    They need to start a remake of round the twist. The whole nation would sign up!

    I wonder what Apples widely expected TV service will look like and how long it would take them to bring it to Australia, if at all. I'm already 'in' Apple's ecosystem in many ways and if their subscription was say, to enable you to watch whatever TV is in their store for a monthly fee, I would very much be interested in that. I imagine that's NOT how it would be structured though...

    Netflix said they don't do live TV (e.g. sport, news, etc) they're more for drama based.

    As for the AFL.....no the AFL want to go the way of US sporting codes & sell access directly to their customers err I mean fans.

    Australian content.......phooey, many people are trying to get away from the 'must-have X % content' which is third-rate, amateurish garbage.
    The other problem with local channels is the spoiling of all the advertising by inserting snippets of movies and TV series'. .......(SARCASM ALERT!)

    The best news of all is Foxtel losing their stranglehold...$70+ per month just to watch GoT and then moving the GoT carrot around different channel packages was the last straw - if they kept customers happy by supplying maximum content for minimum price they might've generated some loyalty. I know Netflix don't own GoT but at least there are options now...Mr Underwood will you see you now.

    Goodbye Foxtel...it was painful.

    Last edited 19/03/15 12:08 pm

    A world library of music/movie/tv content is what is needed. Not individual companies buying the streaming wrights to specific content. I'm not paying 10 streaming companies to watch/listen to the various list of tv/movie/music I want to watch.

      That scenario is clearly what Netflix wants - their ideal world is one in which they have huge customer bases in every nation on Earth that has decent internet infrastructure, which will give them leverage vs. the Hollywood studios to negotiate favorable (i.e. cheap) licensing deals for content, because Netflix is controlling access to the audience so what's the studios gonna do?

      At that point, Hollywood will have two options for distribution: the big-budget superhero flicks go to brick & mortar movie theaters, and everything else (TV, arty movies, documentaries) go to streaming. No more broadcast, cable, DVD or local distributors getting into bidding wars and driving up prices/scattering content/causing staggered releases that irritate people who can use the internet to find out just what they're not getting.

      Realistically, Netflix will have some competition in all this - Amazon, maybe Apple. HBO will be more of a premium add-on. But the Foxtels of the world are doomed. You gotta be a global player in this market to get the leverage to negotiate these deals.

    - The VPN scenario is someone who wants to pay and can’t quite pay -
    We want to pay, we DO pay, we're happy to pay. The VPN thing is because you can't take our money, not because we "cant quite pay".

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