The notorious Netflix online streaming service from the USA has finally announced its arrival date on Aussie shores. Following popular demand the company has decided to expand its business to allow for all of us to begin subscribing to a large selection of TV and movies come the 24th of March. Towards the end of last year I touched on topic of Netflix and how numerous Aussies were having to circumvent IP and VPN blocks in order to get access to the service. Come the end of March though and all of that hassle will no longer be necessary.
As I'll explain below, there's also been mention of Netflix teaming up with a particular provider to offer a "quota-free" streaming service to customers. This would make Netflix the first local streaming service to offer unmetered access.
Now is the time to really settle in for a good autumn and winter season, knowing you have your trusty Netflix at the ready whenever you decide to kick back in front of the telly. In preparation for its arrival it might be worth considering which type of service would suit your household best, because similar to the U.S., Netflix will offer three tiers of service; Basic SD streaming to one screen, simultaneous streaming to two screens (HD where possible) and finally their premium four-screen streaming service with 4K ultra-high definition where available.
CES the largest consumer electronics show in the world witnessed the company’s director of corporate communications and technology at Netflix say that the streaming service had no intentions to formerly announce pricing until much closer to the time, if not on the day of launch. However, recent reports have suggested that the pricing for their three tiers will start at around $9.99 per month, this information was brought to light by Tech Guide who were present at CES in Las Vegas.
So what does this mean for all the users on other subscription services such as Presto, Quickflix, Stan and pay TV such as Foxtel? Well there is one thing that is for certain, the other companies are treading on eggshells as the Netflix beast circles Australians with better value for money and a promise of fresh and exclusive content.
If you have already been watching Netflix through other means that we won’t mention here, you may be excited to know that their hit series Marco Polo is coming back with another 10-episode second season. Possibly you are currently into their other hit series ‘House of Cards’, well, as these shows are produced by Netflix, my guess is that these will only become a part of some of the exclusive offerings Netflix will have to offer.
While Netflix is keeping its pricing and I’m sure a few other nuggets close to its chest, it has revealed a deal with the provider iiNet to offer a “quota free” streaming service. This exclusive deal with iiNet will see the creation of Australia’s first local streaming service offering unmetered access. As a result Optus have joined the bandwagon announcing they will also offer a similar unmetered service saying, “Optus broadband consumers will also be able to access as much Netflix content as they want, without metering. Netflix Australian content won’t count towards a customers data cap.”
One thing I really liked was the fact that Netflix refused to comment on the current rumours that over 200,000 Australians are already accessing their service, by bypassing ‘geo-blocks’ with VPN services. Todd Yellin, Netflix’s vice president of innovation said, “We think the rumours are a little exaggerated because no one really knows.” Plus, whether they know or not, I thought it was pretty cool of Netflix to stay quiet on the subject and protect its current Aussie customers, (you know who you are).
Moving forward, if you plan on having Netflix from day one, Mr. Yellin did allude to the fact that the selection of content might not be as extensive, but, that it will improve on day 30, then again on day 90 or every couple of weeks, depending on when content comes in. To sweeten the deal, Netflix have said that anyone in Australia or New Zealand who buys and Xbox One “starting 24 March and for a limited time only” will be given 3 months access to their streaming service. Anyone looking to find bargains on Xbox One consoles & bundles should visit this thread on Buckscoop's Deals board.
Netflix has also stated that their service will be available on PC and Mac browsers plus smart televisions from “Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic, Philips and Hisense, Fetch TV’s second generation set-top box, PlayStation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Android and Apple tablets / smartphones.”
So in preparation for its arrival, if you're missing any of the above mentioned devices from your personal arsenal, then remember to check Buckscoop's Deals page regularly for any new bargains on these (and others). Netflix have also announced that gift cards will be made available in the form of $20, $30 and $50 denominations, available from the likes of Woolies, Coles, Big W, 7-Eleven, Australia Post and Officeworks.
On a final note, for all those Aussies who have been wondering about their favourite shows, Netflix have made a deal with Beyond Entertainment to receive the streaming rights rights a number of Australian comedies and children’s programs. Plus their other partners include Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Roadshow Entertainment and the Walt Disney Company. If you would like to keep up to date on all things Netflix, be sure to check their Facebook and Twitter accounts for news.