Get Ready Australia, Netflix Is Coming

| March 5, 2015

Image: The Australian

Words by Jessica Testa

HAVE you ever clicked on an episode of a television show that hasn’t aired in Australia yet on YouTube, only to find it has been removed due to copyright? Isn’t it annoying that you have to go and buy or rent a movie you want to watch for a price that just doesn’t seem worth it?

In the world we live in, everything is getting more and more expensive. The invention of the internet has provided the opinion of streaming films, television shows and music at an affordable price.

Here in Australia, however, we do not have a number of these platforms. Until now, that is.

Yesterday, Netflix announced that their steaming service will be available in Australia and New Zealand from March 24. Soon, you will be able to watch thousands of movies and television shows for a flat monthly rate that will make you wish they did this sooner.

Netflix have partnerships with many other companies, such as DSL provider iiNet (Australia), Vodafone (New Zealand) and Microsoft Xbox.

Chief Executive Officer of iiNet, David Buckingham, says they are proud to provide access to their customers in Australia and New Zealand. “Offering our customers quota-free access to Netflix is yet another demonstration of iiNet’s commitment to providing our customers great, hassle-free entertainment experiences,” he said.

Netflix will be available via the smart devices, gaming consuls and smart televisions, such as Fetch TV’s second-generation set-top box. Business group lead for Interactive Entertainment at Microsoft Australia, Jeremy Hinton said, “Xbox has a long association with Netflix around the world, and with this announcement we’re excited to bring our partnership to the millions of Xbox owners across Australia and New Zealand.“

“With Xbox One we are committed to delivering the best entertainment experience in Australian and New Zealand living rooms,” he said.

In addition to the gift cards that will be available at Woolworths, Coles, Big W, 7-Eleven, Australia Post and Officeworks in Australia, Vodafone are offering some of their customers in New Zealand several months of prepaid service. Likewise, for a limited time, Microsoft are offering their consumers who purchase Microsoft’s next generation console, the Xbox One, at select stores three months prepaid access to the service.

You may be wondering how film and television companies feel about this. Surely they wouldn’t be too happy about the money they are losing, would they?

As a matter of fact, the film and television industry that welcomed the idea with open arms. They have the power to strip their content from the service, however, they choose not to.

According to The Australian, many streaming services including Netflix, Presto and Stan have the support of various Australian channels, as well as several major Hollywood companies and Foxtel channel, HBO.

The music industry, on the other hand, has a completely different view on the idea.

Music steaming services, such as Spotify, have received negative feedback from artists. Many of them have pulled their music from the service. The latest of these has been Icelandic musician, Björk, who pulled her new album from the service last month.


Image: Howl & Echoes

Taylor Swift was one of the first mainstream artists to speak out against music streaming. She pulled her latest album off of Spotify in November last year. She explains why in an interview with Time:

“Everybody’s complaining about how music sales are shrinking, but nobody’s changing the way they’re doing things. They keep running towards streaming, which is, for the most part, what has been shrinking the numbers of paid album sales,” Swift says.

Spotify offers artists a fee of $0.006 to $0.0084 per stream. On iTunes, the price of one song can range from $1.19 to $2.19. This is more expensive than the US, by the way, which ranges between US75c and US$1.29.

For Björk, however, it’s about more than just money.

“We’re all making it up as it goes, to be honest. I would like to say there’s some master plan going on [with the album release], but there isn’t. But a few months ago I emailed my manager and said, ‘Guess what? This streaming thing just does not feel right. I don’t know why, but it just seems insane,’” Björk said in an interview with Fast Company.

“To work on something for two or three years and then just, ‘Oh, here it is for free.’ It’s not about the money; it’s about respect, you know? Respect for the craft and the amount of work you put into it,” she continued.

It’s true that we must show our appreciation to artists who produce good, entertaining music.

But why does our appreciation have to be measured in money? Can’t something as simple as words suffice?

The music industry should look to that of film and television for a fresher perspective. The internet is growing by the second and, as a consequence, other mediums of entertainment are suffering. They need to jump on the bandwagon in order to survive.

Musicians do collaborations with other artists to expand their fans base all the time. Film and television are simply doing the same by allowing Netflix to use their content.

Thank you Netflix for finally realising that we are here and are in need of your services. We look forward to your arrival.

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Category: FEATURED, LIFESTYLE, Uncategorized

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