Netflix, Inc. Australian service has lured 2.5m users in the first half of 2015, as per data from the ACMA. The firm opened for business in the land down under in March and by June had at least 1m users as reported by research firm Roy Morgan. Netflix is leading the country’s other SVOD services based on a survey of 1,505 adults that was carried out not long after the firm launched in March.
The debut of Netflix in the country followed the debut of several rival SVOD services such as Stan and Presto TV. “Subscription video on demand is growing rapidly in Australia, becoming an increasingly popular way to watch video content,” ACMA said on its website. “From January to March this year, The country saw the launch of new SVOD services, such as Netflix, Presto TV, and Stan. With the presence of these services, Australians now have a greater range of video content viewing options.”
Netflix Success in Australia is almost killing ISPs
ISPs such as Optus in Australia have reasoned that media content services will put a strain on their networks. As per data by iiNet, traffic for Netflix has grown greatly with the bulk of users asking for HD streaming. Reports reveal that nearly 80% of Netflix’s traffic is HD or above. To cater to such needs, the firm has had to upgrade its network. Though iiNet stated that it doesn’t seek to levy Netflix, it has declined to comment on any deals that it might have had with the streaming giant in return for its services.
Optus has claimed it can’t maintain net neutrality while providing services aimed at over-the-top content firms in the country. The ISP mentioned the issue of speed slowdowns, which have deepened since the launch of Netflix in Australia.
Netflix supports net neutrality
In response to Optus’ demand, Netflix has conveyed its dismay, stating that the plan was against its policy of net neutrality. The streaming service faced a similar hurdle in the U.S. where ISPs wanted to cut the browsing speed for Netflix, Inc. in order to strong-arm the firm into paying them. The issue was taken care of by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which banned broadband suppliers from slowing the speed of any legal internet traffic.
THR points out that the survey didn’t distinguish between paying subs and those under a trial period; all the same it provides a view into how Netflix stacked up compared to its rivals and how Australian viewers have received its services. Besides North America, it is clear the firm is visible in Australia where internet usage has grown since the debut of the US firm.
Netflix growth in Australia will continue inasmuch as the firm maintains its edge over rivals. Yet, the firm would need to find a way to make peace with ISPs if it doesn’t want its success in the land down under to be short-lived.