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Netflix takes off in Australia

News, 12 May 2015
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SYDNEY: Netflix has already become Australia's favourite video streaming service just six weeks since its launch in the country in March, a new industry report has indicated.

According to Pocketbook, an Australian finance planning app, Netflix has taken 39% of the paid video subscription market, leaving its main Australian competitor Foxtel with 38%, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The US Netflix service was already popular in the nation – almost a quarter (24%) of Australian subscribers accessed Netflix in February 2015 – but usage has soared since the launch of the specialist Australian service on March 24th.

As a consequence, Foxtel has lost 10% of its market share while Stan, the service owned by Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media, continued to hover at about 7% in April.

Bosco Tan, chief operations officer at Pocketbook, said the trend of growth over March and April was solely attributable to the growth of Netflix's Australian service.

"We can confidently conclude that Netflix is going to grow to be the dominant player in the media subscription landscape in Australia in the not too distant future," he said.

"Their growth in the space of one month has been staggering, buoyed by a significant existing customer base accessing their service via VPN [virtual private network] services, free month offering and significant public attention," he added.

However, while acknowledging the rapid growth of Netflix in Australia, media analyst Steve Allen of Fusion Strategy cautioned that the service may be in a "honeymoon period" as Australians test it out. Insufficient content might also limit growth.

"Netflix just doesn't have enough new content in our view to sustain what is happening now … because some of the key [content] properties are signed up to Foxtel for the next couple of years," he said.

Data sourced from Sydney Morning Herald; additional content by Warc staff

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