American streaming media Netflix outdid its Australian competition with an $8.99 monthly subscription, making it the cheapest in the country by far.
The US company launched into the Australian market this week.
Australian video streaming site Stan’s CEO Mike Sneesby, spoke to the Newsroom about the threat to Stan’s sales as a result of Netflix’s launch. “We are not worried, we are very confident with what we bring to the table,” Mr Sneesby said.
“Stan already has two upcoming dramas in the reigns.”
Mr Sneesby said the two developing drama series would go head-to-head with Netflix’s House of Cards series. One of the Australian dramas would be based around the Wolfcreek films and the other based on the life of former judge Lionel Murphy, exclusively for subscribers.
In Australia, the new generation of television viewing is currently offered by three players. Stan, which launched on Australia Day this year, Presto and Quickflix.
Stan and Netflix both currently offer a 30-day free trial. Stan then charges $10 per month, while Netflix has a three-tier pricing system. The basic $8.99 service is only available in standard definition.
Netflix however is currently not required to impose any GST on customers, giving them a 10 per cent competitive advantage. But this is likely to change as the government pushes for offshore service providers to pay GST when entering the Australian market.
Netflix coming down-under has meant the hiring of over 1000 engineers in the US, in order to match up with the service of Australian competitors.
Mr Sneesby said video streaming has a particular appeal for young people who want to watch whatever they want at any time on any device in their home.
“The young and old no longer want to be tied down with a contract, and the expense of paying a huge amount a month,” he said.
“People want flexibility, the broader consumer is just not prepared to sign their life away.”
Stan is a joint venture by Nine Entertainment Co. and Fairfax Media. – Memu Conteh
Top photo by Mohammad Rassawala.