It’s a rare thing when a high-profile company changes its position on a key issue overnight. So Netflix’s announcement on January 15 that it would take steps to stop AustraliaN customers streaming shows that aren’t officially available in their country came as a big surprise to many observers.
Not least, that is, the many thousands of Australians who are already hooked on the US version of the subscription VOD service, which has a deeper and richer library than the Aussie version. Citi estimated in August that almost a quarter of Netflix users in Australia were subscribed to the US platform.
But there are several reasons why it is now in Netflix’s commercial interests to change its religion and stop turning a blind eye to the circumvention of so-called “geo-blocking”.
The company, which was the best performing major US stock in 2015 (up 134 per cent), has come under tremendous pressure from its suppliers – the Hollywood studios – to clamp down on the practice because they had not licensed their content to it for those territories.
It’s surely no coincidence that Netflix held out in the face of that pressure until it had launched its service globally on January 6: simultaneously bringing its Internet TV network officially to more than 130 new countries around the world in a typically massive splash at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Source : Stuff