There's A Campaign To Get Netflix Into Australia. It's Not Working.

Consumer group CHOICE are all about campaigning for the everyman. At the end of the day, CHOICE wants what's best for us, and that's why they wrote to Netflix, petitioning the company to set up shop in Australia. A good idea, except...

...that was in April.

The letter was sent to Netflix's chief content officer, specifically asking that the platform be made available in Australia so that -- among other shows -- the new season of Arrested Development could be viewed here "legally".

Here's an excerpt:

Currently Australians are prohibited from accessing the Netflix website. Despite the fact that there is demand for the service you provide, it is not made available in Australia. This is frustrating for a number of consumers, however more so for consumers who are fans of [Arrested Development], to which you have exclusive broadcasting rights.
• Will Australians be able to legally access season four of Arrested Development at the same time it is made available to US consumers?
• Will Australian consumers be able to access season four of Arrested Development from the Netflix site with an Australian IP address or an Australian credit card?

The full letter is posted below.

Never mind the fact that all you need to access Netflix and Hulu in Australia is our handy guide, this campaign is nonsense. We're big fans of CHOICE, and they know like we do that if you throw enough rocks in a river you'll change the flow, but this is throwing a pebble into the River Nile. Nothing has happened, nothing will happen from Australians stamping our feet anymore.

Sure, Netflix might one day come to Australia, but it's not going to be a consumer awareness campaign that gets it here. As of this morning, the letter had 126 "Likes" and about as many re-shares on Facebook. Not exactly setting the world on fire.

The idea that one petition will get Netflix to sit up, change its entire business direction just so a few Colonials get access to a new series is embarrassing. Let's just be smarter than this in future, and agree that we'll access Netflix in different ways until it decides to dump the platform onto one of the tiniest media markets in the world. Remember: you won't crumble and die if you don't see a TV show.



    I'm signed up to Netflix US already. Realistically if it's released here it would be crippled due to our dinosaur TV stations.

      they aren't about to set up here and destroy their reputation. they are known as reasonably priced, easy to access and full of great content. if they set up shop here, none of that would exist.
      netflix originals are available to download within a few hours of them going live anyway. if people really want to watch it, they will. just like GoT.

    Dose choice understand that there are ways to get Netflix in Australia? Give it three months and season 4 will show up on Foxtel.

    Last edited 29/05/13 10:54 am

      Does Choice understand that there is nothing that Netflix can do?
      If they were able to legally stream into Australia they would have been doing it for years now.

      As it is Netflix are fighting tooth and nail to retain their existing streaming rights in the US with many of the content owners.

      It's like having a go at the postie because some online shop hasn't shipped your package yet.

      Simply, they are barking up the wrong tree.

        They are? I thought it was Hulu that was having problems.

          They lost Starz in 2012 (this included lots of Disney and Sony content) and they are losing Warner (South Park, older James Bond, etc)
          Also MGM and Universal...

          So yeah, lots of content leaving Netflix

            Do you have links to articles about this? I was considering signing up to NF and Hulu when the NBN comes in to my area by august (or so they say) but if they're just gonna lose their content anyway...

              They still have heaps.

              Just Google Netflix lost starz /warner

              It's simplistic to break it down to Netflix losing a bunch of content - Starz they definitely lost - that was purely a financial decision on both parts (Starz significantly over-valued their deal), however, Disney then signed a content arrangement that their entire back catalogue plus all future releases will be on Netflix from 2016 (including all new "Star Wars" features etc.), and up until then, they will be releasing monthly new content across films & TV.

              Viacom (MTV, Nickeleodeon, Nick Jr.) had a broad licensing deal with Netflix that covered the bulk of their content - Netflix has chosen to let that contract expire as they want to see more exclusivity in their offerings - at the time, Viacom had virtually the same deal in place with Amazon, so there was little difference between the two services.

              Netflix are negotiating with Viacom at the moment to retain only the most popular content ("Dora the Explorer", "Jackass", "Blue's Clues", "South Park" etc.) rather than pay a mega fee which includes a bunch of content that no-one was watching (or very few people comparatively - "Teen Mom" etc.).

              Netflix constantly changes though - for every title that they lose, they tend to have another replace it - another 50 or so titles have just gone up again today - but if you're considering signing up for it, I would definitely recommend it - 14,000+ titles (not including multiple seasons of TV shows as well) for $7.99 a month is an absolute bargain.

              Hulu on the other hand is probably worth holding off on *right now* as there is a sale taking place which may affect their current content deals - that should be sorted by the time you get the NBN though.


        Drew, I don't know where to begin with your post.
        #1 you must realise that Netflix no longer are simply regurgitators of other people's content.
        #2 you need to understand that Netflix *produce their own content*.
        #3 House of Cards, and Arrested Development (stated in the letter) and programs made by, and paid for by Netflix!
        Netflix are becoming like an online-only version of HBO, they have distribution, and original programming.

        Therefore, they can sell it wherever, to whoever they like. That is the guts of the letter (reference to House of Cards, and Arrested Development season 4).

        This is not "barking up the wrong tree".

          Likewise I don't know where to begin with yours.

          The vast majority is not their content, big whoop two shows.
          Yeah its really going to be awesome if the launch in Australia with one show.

        The example/question posed was for a Netflix owned show. There are no rights sold in Australia yet, unless Netflix itself sold them off.

        The question was posed to the correct party in this case. If the question had of been more generic as to why it hasn't launched its entire service in Australia, that would fall back to current licensing restrictions for their content, and would/should be posed to the actual content licensors.

    It would be more effective to educate Australians on using Hola! Unblocker or a VPN.

    If it does come to Australia the cost would no doubt be more expensive than just using their US portal,... Wouldn't it..?

      Not necessarily - pretty much every location they've launched in has been a price point comparison to $7.99 US - UK, Peru, Brazil, Mexico etc.

    Given that accessing Netflix from Australia is ridiculously easy, it might actually be better that Netflix didn't come to Australia.

    The reason being that you can bet the price of Neflix in Australia would be considerably more than the US$9.99 per month that I currently pay (plus $4.95 per month for Unblock-US). I'm guessing that the Australian service would end up being closer to AUD$20 - 25 per month, making my current VPN-based solution excellent value. In addition, the same VPN service also provide access to Hulu Plus if desired.

    That said, it would still be great to see Australia crawl out from under the strangle hold of Foxtel, which is stiffling online content delivery in Australia. Game of Thrones is a classic example; season 3 was available to Australians by direct iTunes download, however Foxtel has now locked Game of thrones down and season 4 will only be available in Australia through Foxtel. I realise that Netflix doesn't provide access to game of Thrones, but it's an example of Foxtel's negative affect on consumer choice in Australia.

      How come you're paying $9.99 a month? Should only be $7.99 + Unblock-Us fees on top of that.

      As I said above, Netflix seem to be very deliberately matching the same price point everywhere they launch, so I think it would be reasonable to assume that they would try to be as close to that when they do launch here.

        Yeah you are right, it's US$7.99. I don't know where I jagged $9.99 from, must have been low on coffee.

        For my most recent billing month it ended up being AUD$8.37 per month for Netflix, and AUD$5.19 for Unblock-US, both charged to my credit card.

    I think the positive benefit for Australians of a service like Hulu or Netflix coming to Australian markets is that it might knock Foxtel down a peg or 2. Their service is over priced for near new content (for the most part).

      Absolutely. The combination of Foxtel and Telstra (which never should have been allowed to buy into Foxtel) is wreaking havoc for online content delivery to Australians is concerned.

    I think of the problem is it not until I saw this article on gizomodo I would not have know about this letter. As a X-Netflix user in UK, I do miss this service. As it was great for those cold\wet London Sunday and you want to lay in bed\lounge and watch a movie. However since return to Sydney, I am constant banging my head against the wall about how bad these services are here\not here. What does my head in the most over here, is that they are willing to point the finger at us when download Game of Thrones by bittorrent but don't offer a better "legal" solution. As most of us would jump onto something like Netflix if the offer some quality pricing plans. It seem that Foxtel has the money to lock up all premium content in Australian and not allow services like Airplay to TV on their idevices apps while you can do internationally. In addition, you can read the countless article about Apple trying to their i-radio service up and running but the industry is worry about the profit they may lose because people prefer streaming service. As in my case, that the service I prefer for the one major reason. I travel and rent and not buy allot of hardware these days ie CD and DVD. Therefore a cloud service works best for me. I say TV\Movies industry, come and talk to the people who you make this content for . As company like Foxtel are driven by profit and I am sure are more interested in covering their cost than content itself.

    When there are no good legal options, people just use good illegal options.

      Precisely. I'm not going to jump through hoops to access Netflix pseudo-legally (using a VPN is in breach of Netflix' terms, so not truly legal anyway). So for Arrested Development going to be illegal or not at all.

    I don't think Netflix want to bring attention to the fact that you can get it in Australia quite easily since they dropped the need for a US only credit card to pay for it.

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