Netflix spoke of aggressive international expansion ambitions in January, and a major step towards its two-year globalization plan was taken today when its video-on-demand service went live in Australia and New Zealand.
Those launches are notable for being Netflix’s first moves into Asia Pacific, and it is planning to follow up with an entry into Japan, which is slated for this coming fall.
Customers in Oceania can pay A$8.99 (US$7) per month for standard access to its catalog. HD and 4K quality streams are charged at A$11.99 (US$9.40) and A$14.99 ($11.77) respectively.
Those in Australia will suffer from a somewhat streamlined selection of content, initially at least. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Australian/New Zealand service offers 220 TV series and 900 movies, compared to 940 TV series and 6,170 movies in the U.S. That’s down to Netflix’s efforts to secure release rights in Australia, which are still in their early stages. There are, however, “several hundred” titles that are unique to the region, and the company has said that it is working to beef up the selection for Australians and New Zealanders.
Asia looks like it will be a major focus for Netflix as it embarks on a quest to reach 200 countries worldwide by 2017. It won’t be without competition in the region, as 2015 has already seen two new video-on-demand companies surface. Operator Singtel partnered with Sony Pictures and Warner Brothers to launch HOOQ in Southeast Asia, while iflix is another newly created competitor with regional aspirations.