Netflix announces Australia, NZ launch

After months of speculation, and reportedly already having an unofficial subscriber base via VPN users, Internet movie and TV subscription service Netflix is heading down under, revealing that it will expand into Australia and New Zealand in March 2015.

Internet-connected users in Australia and New Zealand will be able to subscribe to Netflix and instantly watch a curated selection of popular movies and TV shows in high-definition or even 4K where available. At launch, the premium and unique Netflix offering will include such original series as Marco Polo, BoJack Horseman and, among many kids titles, DreamWorks Animation’s All Hail King Julien.

Netflix will be available at launch on smart TVs, tablets and smartphones, computers and a range of Internet-capable game consoles and set-top boxes. Additional details on pricing, programming and supported devices will be available at a later date.

New Zealand and Australia would bring the number of countries and territories enjoying Netflix service to more than 50. Netflix is available to members in the US, Canada, Latin America, the UK and Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

The service will compete with Ezyflix, Quickflix, and Stan, the joint-venture streaming operation planned by Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media. Seven chairman Kerry Stokes said the broadcaster will announce its streaming plans in the coming months.

Pay-TV company Foxtel is also planning to relaunch its Presto streaming service to include television programmes. Foxtel chief executive Richard Freudenstein confirmed that the revamped service would be offered to customers before the arrival of Netflix. “It would be a good business decision to be out before Netflix,” he said.

Netflix already has a number of users in Australia who sidestep geoblocking by using a virtual private network (VPN) to hide their location.

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