SYDNEY (AFP) – US online entertainment powerhouse Netflix said Wednesday it would move into the Australian and New Zealand markets as it expands further internationally before the launch of a new rival.
Netflix has pioneered online streaming of original content, including TV shows and films, challenging traditional network and cable broadcasters.
“Internet-connected users in Australia and New Zealand will be able to subscribe to Netflix and instantly watch a curated selection of popular movies and TV shows,” the company said in a statement.
Australia and New Zealand will bring the number of countries and territories with the service to more than 50.
The expansion news comes just weeks after California-based Netflix released a quarterly financial report showing disappointing growth of three million members in the past quarter, to boost its subscribers to 53.1 million worldwide.
Netflix will also soon have a new rival, with Time Warner’s HBO announcing plans to launch as a standalone streaming service that will not need cable or satellite subscriptions.
Full details on the content for Australian and New Zealand subscribers have not yet been announced.
But Netflix said offerings at the launch in March would include “Marco Polo”, “BoJack Horseman” and, among its children’s titles, “All Hail King Julien”.
Netflix did not disclose what it plans to charge for subscriptions in the countries but promised a “low monthly price”.
“Australia and New Zealand have been a long time coming for us,” Netflix’s Cliff Edwards told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“Both countries are great locations for us, we know that people have been very enthusiastic … we hope that enthusiasm will grow when we launch in March.”
Australian residents are currently blocked from accessing the US website but reports suggest many sidestep this to access original content such as “House of Cards”.