Netflix has confirmed its long-expected move into the Australasian market, and will launch a streaming service there in March 2015.
This comes just days after Netflix’s senior director of programmatic buying Kathy O’Dowd visited Australia to hold talks about buying broadcast and online advertising space.
The expansion into Australia and New Zealand also comes after the US-based on-demand company began taking rights for the territories earlier this year, with various local reports and industry insiders heavily tipping a 2015 launch date.
Netflix is entering a competitive market in Australia, which has new SVOD rivals such as Stan and incumbents including Quickflix, Foxtel’s Presto and Ezyflix.
Netflix has been criticised for not cracking down on the estimated 200,000 Australians that have been illegal accessing the service by using VPN that unlock geo-blocks.
The territory also charges companies for excessive bandwidth use, which may cause issues if Netflix drives a similar level of web traffic as in the US.
Australia and New Zealand consumers will be able to subscribe to Netflix, though the company didn’t reveal pricing. At launch, the service will offer the Netflix library, plus new originals such as BoJack Horseman (pictured) and All Hail Julian, and exclusive documentaries such as Virunga and Mission Blue.
In 2015, the line-up will expand to include original family thriller Bloodline, superhero series Marvels Daredevil, the Wachowski’s global-spanning sci-fi Sense8, and comedy Grace and Frankie.
The launches mark the latest expansion on Netflix, which first launched an online service in the US in 2007. This year it went online in Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium.
To that point, it already operated in the UK and Ireland, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America.