Rumors of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) entering New Zealand had been doing the rounds for quite some time, and many speculations were made as to its time of entry. Those speculations gained more ground when, at a conference in Cannes, Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix, described Australia and New Zealand as “very attractive territories” for them, says a report from Stuff.co.nz. The region, though attractive, is not an easy one to crack, however.
Netflix popular in New Zealand
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The popularity of Netflix has led many of its viewers watch shows by breaching the terms and conditions of the company. It is believed that New Zealand has tens of thousands of people who have signed up to the Netflix’s U.S. service by bypassing internet blocks. The service costs $8.99 per month.
Despite the comment from Sarandos, there is no official information on whether the company will officially enter New Zealand or not. However, Joris Evers, a spokesman from Netflix, subsequently told a local news channel that it is not confirmed that the company will launch its services in New Zealand. Evers said that what Sarandos said is that one day, the company will go global.
Sarandos did not even provide any information about the pricing of the Kiwi version of Netflix. He did not give any information about the programs that the company plans for the region. Internet television services at present are provided for a monthly cost of $12 to $15.
Competition awaits Netflix
Netflix will have to fight a hard battle before it can make space for itself in the region. There are already big names present to compete with, and the company will be faced with several difficulties before it can secure local programming rights. One such barrier is Spark, which launched internet television service Lightbox in August. Other rivals will be Australian-based online television and movie pioneers Quickflix and Ezyflix, and Sky Television.
It is possible that by year-end, an internet television service will be launched by Sky, which will be separate from the broadcast pay-TV service it provides. Sky TV also has the rights to stream many of HBO’s hit programming in New Zealand, like Game of Thrones. Currently, Netflix is present in as many as 40 countries and has more than 50 million subscribers.
In early morning trading, Netflix shares were down by over 23% as the company disappointed on net subscriber adds in its earnings report last night.