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.