Netflix has announced plans to officially expand into Australia and New Zealand in March 2015 with a curated selection of popular movies and TV shows in high-definition or 4K where available.
Due to pre-existing deals signed with local content providers, Netflix will not be able to provide the same offerings as the U.S. or European branches of itself. This includes its pre-existing original series such as “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black”.
However, the service is retaining all its recent and upcoming original series including “Marco Polo,” “BoJack Horseman,” “All Hail King Julien,” “Grace and Frankie,” “Sense8” and the four upcoming Marvel comic book shows starting with “Daredevil”. No word on pricing or further content just yet.
The move comes as rivals in the Australian market, namely major free to air networks and cable TV provider Foxtel, are being forced to cut prices and hasten their moves into the streaming market due to the competition.
There’s also the not so small fact that plenty of Australians are already using the U.S. Netflix service despite the geoblocking the company has in place. A study for Lifehacker indicates that despite not being officially available in Australia, Netflix is the second most popular paid-content media company in the country and as of June this year controlled 27% of local media subscription or rental services. It’s said up to 200,000 Australians are already signed up with the service.
Which begs the real question – now that they are officially going to hit Australia, what efforts will Netflix make to keep the locals out of the U.S. service.