US streaming giant Netflix has announced its Australian launch date as March 24, a week earlier than had previously been reported.
Netflix announced back in November that it would launch in March, with reports suggesting it would come on March 31.
“Many Aussies and Kiwis have heard a lot about Netflix over the years, and we’re excited they’ll get to experience our unique blend of Netflix original content, local series and films, and popular movies and TV shows from around the world, all for a low monthly price,” said Reed Hastings CEO of Netflix.
The service is set to include the new series of House of Cards, released in the US over the weekend, as well as other original series Marco Polo and Bloodline.
The company also announced that iiNet customers will be able to access the service without it affecting their data-caps, an unsurprising move which comes only weeks after OTT platform Fetch TV announced it had made a deal to carry Netflix. Fetch TV offers a range of IPTV services to telco players including iiNet, Optus and Dodo.
“Offering our customers quota-free access to Netflix is yet another demonstration of iiNet’s commitment to providing our customers great, hassle-free entertainment experiences,” said David Buckingham, CEO of iiNet. “iiNet is proud to facilitate consumers’ access to this great entertainment service.”
Optus has also today confirmed that it will also not be metering Netflix content with a spokeswoman telling Mumbrella: “all Optus broadband consumer customers will also be able to access as much Netflix content as they want, without metering. Netflix Australian content won’t count towards a customer’s data cap.”
Netflix will not announce its local pricing until closer to the launch, but it is expected it will be similar to the US service which offers a range of pricing between US$7.99 and US$14.99 depending on streaming quality.
Netflix will be available on smart televisions made by Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Philips and HiSense, as well as certain games consoles like Sony PlayStations, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Ninentendo Wii. It will also be available on Apple TV and Google Chromecast.
From launch, consumers will be able to buy Netflix gift cards in denominations of $20, $30 and $50 at participating Australian retailers, including Woolworths, Coles, Big W, 7-Eleven, Australia Post and Officeworks.
The launch of Netflix comes in an increasingly competitive subscription video on demand (SVOD) market with the likes of rivals Stan and Presto already in market and working hard to gain subscribers.