Earlier this year, Foxtel launched an on-demand streaming service called Presto, a competitor to the US-based Netflix that doesn't require one to go through various hoops to gain access. However, even with a local option available, I'm sure we'd all be happy if Netflix entered the Australian market. It'd be "inferior" to Presto, of course, so you shouldn't... wait, why would it be inferior?
Unsurprisingly, the source of this comment is Presto director Shaun James, who last week made it clear that due to current rights deals with other networks, an Australian Netflix service just wouldn't cut the mustard. Mumbrella's Nic Christensen captured the quote at this year's ASTRA conference:
Shaun James, director of Presto and video on demand at Foxtel, said Netflix has "phenomenal brand awareness in this market" admitting "we have got in terms of raising Presto's brand awareness". But he added: "It will be an inferior local service because of the rights that currently sit with Seven, Nine, Ten, ABC, Foxtel and, you know, they have looked at this market and they've seen that."
Now it's fair to say James has a decent idea of what Netflix needs to do to enter our market, but on the flip-side, I'm sure Netflix wouldn't launch here with a half-arsed product. We've talked about the barriers the service faces, with a feasible option being snapping up an established player to ease the pain of licensing hell.
But, as it stands, Netflix isn't here, so we'll just have to be happy with being teased constantly about the possibility. Yay.