Netflix has just announced it's launching in Australia and New Zealand on 24 March 2015. Before you sign up, here's everything you
Its official: Netflix will be streaming across the two countries at the end of March. All the details are beginning to stream in and we're keeping on top of them. What else can we tell you? Heaps.
Starting prices have already been leaked and they're penned to rival its biggest error- rival, Stan. The cheapest package you can get with Netflix is going for a crazy $9.99 (per month). However, this package will only deliver streamed content in standard definition and is limited to one device. Pay more, and you'll get higher def and be able to hook up multiple devices to the service. Compared to Stan, this minimum option is $1 cheaper, but Stan's $10 package does not offer you high definition at that price, so you weigh up your options.
Speaking of subscriptions, they will be on a three-tier system, which includes: a single-stream standard definition plan ($9.99 per month), a two-stream high-definition plan ($13.99 per month), and a four-stream 4K ultra-high definition "family plan" ($17.99 per month). This is similar to the US model.
Customers will be able to purchase Netflix gift cards in denominations of $20, $30 and $50 from participating Aussie retailers including, Woolworths, Coles, Big W, 7-Eleven, Australia Post and Officeworks.
Start saving up now.
The short of it: Netflix is a streaming service set to rival Foxtel, Stan, etc. that allows members to access an enormous amount of content (TV series, movies and TV programs) on demand and for a small monthly subscription fee. The service is very popular in the US and UK, and its move to Australia will be highly anticipated.
Netflix Australia at a glance
- Netflix Australia Release Date: 24 March 2016
- Price: Starting at $9.99 a month
- Plans available: Single-stream standard definition, two-stream high-definition, four-stream 4K ultra-high definition.
- Where can you buy credit? Woolworths, Coles, Big W, 7-Eleven, Australia Post, Officeworks
- Broadband providers: All major broadband providers will be able to stream Netflix.
- Smart TV compatibility: Netflix will be available on Smart TVs by Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic, Philips and HiSense, and Fetch TV's second-gen set-top box.
- Game console compatibility: Netflix will also be available using: Sony’s PlayStation 3 (PS3™) and PlayStation 4 (PS4™), Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Xbox One, and Nintendo’s Wii U
- Other compatible devices: Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and Apple and Android tablets and smartphones.
- What shows will be available: One word: HEAPS. Specifically we're personally eyeing: House of Cards, Downton Abbey, Vikings, Marco Polo, Homeland, Luther, The Killing, Doctor Who, Sparticus, Arrow, Orange is the New Black, The Originals, The IT Crowd, Arrested Development, Pompeii, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Torchwood, Summer Heights High, Great Expectations, Top Gear, House Suits and a plethora of children's titles. Because who else is going to babysit them, right?
What does Netflix offer?
Netflix dominates US and UK markets with its stellar selection of top-rated series, sports and movies. Netflix subscribers have immediate and on demand access to series such as Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Breaking Bad (and spin-off, Better Call Saul), and Orange is the New Black, as well as classic movies, TV shows, and new release films.
The content Australian subscribers will have access to through the soon-to-be-launched local version is still just speculation. But if your ears are pricked about a new way to watch, check back with finder.com.au over the next few weeks for the latest updates. When we get them, we will examine the details and what they will mean for Australian viewers.
How do I get Netflix for free?
Like it's competitor, Stan, it's been said that Netflix will be offering free 30 day trials so Australians can try the streaming service before they buy. Clear your calendars, this is going to be one mammoth month of free entertainment.
iiNet customers quota-free access to Netflix
This will no doubt be the first quota-free access agreement of many, but Netflix has announced that it has teamed up with major broadband provider, iiNet to provide hours of entertainment - including the first three seasons of House of Cards - with none of the usage counting toward your home data cap. Seriously. Go nuts.
Get Netflix with your Vodafone plan
Netflix has announced that they will be offering Vodafone customers (in New Zealand, sorry Aussies!) with several months of prepaid service alongside specific plans.
Get Netflix with your Microsoft's Xbox One
In the market for a new XBox? Your timing is impeccable: Netflix will be offering three months of prepaid service to customers who purchase Microsoft's next-gen console at select stores. This offer is for a limited time only so be quick.
What Netflix won’t offer (and how to get around it)
Many believe that the Australian version of Netflix will be weak on content compared with its US and UK counterparts due to licensing conflicts, but from what we hear, their entertainment offerings still remain quite diverse.
On top of original Netflix series and some Netflix favourites, customers will also be able to access content from distributors including Roadshow, Beyond Distribution, ABC, and Disney. Stay tuned for more details as they come in on what entertainment they will and won't offer.
Netflix (and all legal streaming services) operate on a location basis and must adhere to the licensing laws of each region. It’s for this reason that Australia is technically geoblocked out of the Netflix content. However, there are already thousands of Australian Netflix subscribers who have been using location blockers and other work-arounds to access the content.
Netflix VPN: Netflix’s plan to block VPN users and what this could mean for Australians already streaming movies online
Netflix’s move to Australia has a lot of tongues wagging, but the Australian viewers of Netflix are among some of the most worried. There are a number (some estimate in the thousands) of Australians using VPNs to access (and pay for) the US version of Netflix.
Since Netflix announced its Australian launch, some Australian subscribers who have been accessing Netflix have reported being blocked from accessing the site.
It should be noted that these reports (reported by CNET, TorrentFreak and Forbes, among others) remain unconfirmed. Netflix is also denying both that it is blocking VPN users from accessing the site, and that there are a significant number of subscribers who are hacking the geoblocks.
The theory is that with the impending move to Australia, Netflix wants Australian subscribers to sign-up for its location specific service, and is blocking users trying to access the site from a VPN or similar service. The fear is that the Australian version will be far weaker in the range of content offered.
It is impossible to detect and block all traffic arriving from a VPN (DNS spoofing is easier to detect). The better VPN services will change their server’s frequently to avoid problems like one of the IP addresses getting noticed and blocked. There are a number of little tweaks you can easily make to your settings if you’re having problems.
How does Netflix compare to Foxtel, Stan, and other on-demand services?
There's a lot of hype around Netflix finally (finally!) coming to Australia, but how does it compare to other services?
Netflix is most similar to Stan, in that you can watch both through IPTV (Internet Protocol Television), pay on a monthly basis (that you can cancel anytime), and you can watch both on multiple devices. Netflix will likely require a higher internet connection than Stan. Foxtel, on the other hand, locks you in to a 12 month contract, although you can still access it through multiple devices.
We've compared every streaming and on-demand service side by side, so you can make a better decision before you decide on any one of them.
Netflix Review | Pros and Cons
- Convenience. Netflix is a major player in the new generation of TV and video entertainment, providing on demand, easy-to-access content that is streamed directly to your computer, TV or mobile device.
- Price. Netflix and similar sites are cheaper compared with traditional Pay TV models.
- On Demand. All content on Netflix is available ‘On Demand’ so you don’t need to wait for your favourite show to come on. You can just click a button.
- Restrictions. Netflix enjoys such popularity in the UK and US because it owns the rights to an enormous range of quality and in demand content. A large percentage of this content won’t be available to Australians using the Australian version of Netflix .