Friday, 09 January 2015 14:09

Netflix Australia: March 31, $9.99 per month Featured

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A report claims to have the official launch date and price for the Australian Netflix service, which is March 31 and $9.99 per month.

If you’ve been wondering what price Netflix would charge Australians to access the forthcoming Australian Netflix service, an online report from Australian tech site TechGuide claims to have the details.

The report says that March 31 is the date, and $9.99 Australian dollars is the monthly price we’ll be paying for the service.

If true, $9.99 would undercut Presto’s charge, which is current $9.99 per month but is expected to rise to potentially $14.99 per month if you want Presto’s upcoming library of TV programming.

Perhaps Presto will now be forced to simply include TV programming at the same $9.99 per month fee it currently charges, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens on that front.

Given that Netflix is also planning to launch in New Zealand at the same time as its Australian launch, we can only presume March 31 is the same date across the ditch, although presumably at a slightly higher price, with AUD $9.99 converting to NZD $10.39 at time of publication, which presumably means a monthly price of NZD $10.99 or more. 

March 31 is also the last possible day in March to fulfil the promise of a March launch, which might give Presto, Stan, Quickflix or any other online streaming service a bit of extra time to do massive March promotions to try and lock-in as many customers as possible.

Of course, there’s nothing stopping anyone from signing up to several services at the same time, it will simply cost you more money each month the more services you’re signed up to.

TechGuide’s report also suggests Netflix claiming that reports it will block VPN users from its US based Netflix service are false.

However, given the fact those using the US Netflix service via a VPN are breaking the US Netflix site terms of service, even if using a VPN in Australia to access geo-locked content is not illegal, no-one yet knows just how savage any Netflix VPN blocks will or won’t be - no matter what the company is currently claiming now.

After all, the Netflix US movie and TV show library is expected to remain vastly larger with many more options that Netflix Australia at launch, although over time, as various companies fight for streaming rights, everyone’s content libraries will change.

Indeed, Netflix in the US had a range of content cease being available on its service post 1 January 2015, as reported online, due to licensing deals coming to an end, although all streaming companies are always on the lookout for valuable new content to license.

News.com.au has some additional detail.

Meanwhile, Presto announced earlier this week that it is adding a 'rich slate of kids TV programming' to its TV show service when it launches over the next couple of months, while Netflix Australia hit back very shortly after Presto’s media release landed in my inbox with not only a notification of its own kids TV programming, but a selection of shows it will be exclusively showing.

Presto does work on PC, Mac, Chromecast, iPads and a very select range of Android tablets including the most popular Samsung models and Nexus tablets, but it doesn't work on games consoles, smart TVs (except via the HDMI-connected Chromecast dongle), iPhones, Android smartphones and the vast majority of Android tablets. 

Meanwhile Netflix effectively works on virtually any Internet connected device with a screen or that can be attached to a screen. 

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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