US-based Netflix, the world’s leading internet TV network allocated in more than 50 countries with more than 50 million subscribers globally, is finally here and ready to launch down under. Through the use of internet connection, Netflix subscribers are able to stream and instantly watch a selection of movies and TV shows in standard definition, high definition or even 4K ultra high-definition.
With a broadband connection, subscribers are able to watch whatever they like, whenever they like, on any Netflix ready device of their choice. Users are able to watch on one device, pause and then continue watching on another device at home or on the go. With the launch, Netflix announced that the service would be available on “smart TVs, tablets and smartphones, computers and a range of internet-capable game consoles and set-top boxes”.
Australians are offered a one-month free trial, which then moves to Netflix’s three pricing plans with no lock-in contracts, cancel-at-anytime peace of mind. The network giants three pricing plans for Australians leaked on Reddit indicated prices which start at $8.99 a month to watch on one screen at a time in standard definition, $11.99 a month to watch on two screens at time in HD and the third plan at $14.99 a month to watch on four screens at a time in HD and Ultra HD. Pricing in Australia compared to the US is considered to be fair, where the three plans in the US start off at US$7.99 or a single stream in standard definition, $8.99 for the two-stream service in HD and $11.99 for the four-stream service in HD and ultra HD.
While the full content library of Movies and TV series will be officially released tomorrow, Netflix has revealed so far that in Australia:
“Netflix members will be able to instantly watch an array of Netflix original series, stand-up comedy specials and documentaries, including the family thriller, Bloodline, starring Ben Mendelsohn, Sissy Spacek and Kyle Chandler; the epic adventure story of Marco Polo; the sharp and witty Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; Chelsea Handler: Uganda Be Kidding Me Live; Aussie comedian Jim Jefferies: Bare; DreamWorks Animation’s The Adventures of Puss in Boots; and the Academy Award-nominated documentary Virunga, among others. In the coming months, Netflix members will exclusively enjoy the gritty action drama Marvel’s Daredevil; the dramatic thriller Sense8; the highly anticipated Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II: The Green Destiny and comedy series Grace and Frankie.”
How to get Neflix?
So far, Optus is offering Australians a six-month subscription to Netflix through Optus when they join or re-contract with Optus through signing up to a 24-month contract. Contract choices include a home broadband bundle on a $60 plan or above, a postpaid mobile service on a $60 plan or above or a postpaid mobile broadband service on a $30 plan or above. Optus prepaid customers can also obtain a three-month subscription to Netflix if they purchase any prepaid phone or mobile broadband device and activate the sim. Australians can also get Netflix through iiNet when they sign up to an iiNet Fixed Line Broadband or NBN Fibre Plan.
Netflix coming into the Australian market, however, raises potential threats to pay TV. Paying $10 a month to view an entire range of series and movies you want to see appears to be a more attractive offer than paying $50 or more a month to be offered a package of channels, including some channels that you don’t want to see anyway. It also places competition among free-to-air TV stations. Yes, free-to-air TV will always be the go-to program for grand finals, live news or elections, but fewer people today are willing to put up with the disruptive TV advertising during their favourite drama.
Following Netflix’s announcement to launch in Australia, streaming services such as Stan and Presto TV emerged this year to compete with the global giants in paid streaming services. Stan, the partnership between Fairfax and Nine Entertainment Co, and Presto TV, the partnership between Foxtel and Seven West media, both offer viewers a range of choices for $10 a month. While Stan offers just over 750 titles in HD, Presto TV offers over 1500 film titles and 100 titles in its TV library in only standard definition. With Netflix coming to town, it is expected to offer thousands of titles for its subscribers.