As I write this, Netflix is just hours away from launch here in Australia.
Pricing information has been leaked and, if we believe what we are being told, plans begin at a VERY reasonable $8.99 a month for DVD quality (on 1 screen) up to $14.99 for 4K streams (across up to 4 devices). These prices are especially good pricing given our currently appalling rate of exchange against the USD. If this pricing is true, Netflix has massively undercut ALL of the streaming providers in Australia.
Things are heating up in preparation in other ways too.
Netflix apps are now available on the Australian iOS App store , Google Play, as well as on most games console app stores. Smart TV app stores have been updated with their own versions of the Netflix app. Each app store is also offering the refreshed Netflix interface.
Netflix launches in Australia on Tuesday 24 March and there's a 30 day free trial for new customers in Australia and New Zealand.
Further leaks have included screenshots (see gallery below) of the initial Australian content offerings, with much of the online world relieved to see a comprehensive line up after initial sub-par expectations on account of content deals with existing Australian pay-TV outlets, like Foxtel.
I think it's time to say goodbye to Stan and Presto after, in my view, a very shaky start with poor experiences fiddling with unreliable Chromecast integration from both providers. Why they haven't released native apps on the systems above yet, I don't know. If they had, they may have gathered greater footing, but it looks too late now and Netflix Australia is sure to collect the unhappy end-of-free-trial Presto and Stan users in droves.
For the hundreds of thousands who have been using Netflix in the USA from Australia with location-masking VPN and DNS tools, the Australian launch will provide some savings too - a healthy incentive. VPN or DNS routing tools typically cost around USD5 per month. Combine that cost with the Netflix US monthly service fee, along with the losses on poor exchange rate, and at today's money, the Australian Netflix subscription cost is about half of what you would pay.
So, it's just hours to go until the release of the world's most popular TV and Movie streaming platform. Get yourself prepared and be sure to sign up for the world's best streaming service.