The fact Netflix already has a well-known brand and “big ticket” original series will means it has a chance to become the market-leader in the fiercely local Australian SVOD sector despite being late to market, according to analysts.
“It’s the most well-known [streaming service] globally; a quarter of Australian residents were born overseas and so they have knowledge of services internationally and in their home countries,” Kara Ordway, a senior market analyst at online trading firm City Index told TBI.
“Of course, all parties will have to start to compete on content, but with some big ticket items like House of Cards (below) being a Netflix original series, they will already have a head start on gaining customers.”
Netflix launches today (March 24) in Australia and will take on Nine and Fairfax-operated Stan, Foxtel and Seven’s Presto and early entrant Quickflix. Netflix has come in with a base subscription a dollar a month cheaper than its rivals at A$8.99 (US$6.99).
With such well-backed rivals, Netflix will face stiff competition Ordway said: “Foxtel is the biggest spend in media terms for Australian consumers at present, so Presto may win customers through product entanglement.
“Stan has also gone on a rather large marketing campaign here locally, spending the big bucks to get customers in before Netflix.”
She added that Netflix is reportedly the second most popular service already in Australia with local subs circumventing geo-blocking with the use of a VPN, which might have both positive and negative consequences for Netflix.
“This only further highlights the significant existing demand in this space,” Ordway said. “But it may also mean these current subscribers do not move to the Australian subscription and as such this will distort the new sign up data.”
In other Netflix news, the streaming service will show an upcoming stand-up special from US actor and comedian Chris Tucker, which will launch on the SVOD service on July 10.