If you’ve been paying any attention recently (and it’s been hard to miss) you might have noticed that Netflix, the US video on demand distribution behemoth, has arrived here in Australia.
Now, Netflix isn’t completely new to many Australians. If the numbers are to be believed up to 300,000 of us were already Netflix subscribers, using clever technical workarounds to trick it into thinking they were Americans and letting them sign up.
But Netflix’s local arrival heralds a much bigger change in the entertainment consumption of Australian viewers. Now, for the first time, we’re not reliant on the programming decisions of television tsars, but can access a broad range of movies and television series at a whim, and with only a few clicks. Just as importantly, what happens in the United States, especially when it comes to technology and entertainment, tends to happen here sooner or later. When Netflix is dominant and growing in the US, you’d better believe it’s going to shake things up, here.
Netflix has picked its moment. With the telcos investing in faster broadband (and lowering prices), and the NBN (slowly but surely) being built out, the time might just have arrived for Australians to flock to streaming video.
The interloper won’t have things all to itself, though. While Netflix gets most of the attention (and has a wonderful head start when it comes to reputation and brand recognition), there are a few players looking to make their own marks.
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