Netflix Unveils Australia, NZ Pricing Ahead of Launch

Lorenzo Richelmy in Marco Polo - H 2014

Lorenzo Richelmy in Marco Polo - H 2014

Stars from its original series, including Daryl Hannah, Charlie Cox and Lorenzo Richelmy, will walk the red carpet at a launch event in Sydney on Tuesday.

Netflix will price its service from $6.99 a month in Australia (AUS$8.99) and $7.55 in New Zealand (NZ$9.99), the company said Monday, a day before the official launch of the streaming service Down Under.

As a roll call of stars from its original series arrived in Sydney for a launch event to be held on Tuesday, the streaming giant also announced it has bought back rights for seasons 1 and 2 of flagship series Orange Is the New Black for the launch, with season 3 available for streaming on June 12 in line with its worldwide launch. Pay-TV service Foxtel previously held the rights to both Netflix series, Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards.

Netflix’s pricing will undercut local streaming rivals Stan, owned by Australian media companies Nine Entertainment Co. and Fairfax media, by AUS$1 a month and Presto, owned by Foxtel and Seven West Media, which charges AUS$14.99 a month for its film and TV library.

Netflix has yet to confirm full details of its librar,y which, in line with its cheaper than U.S. pricing, is expected to be a cut-down version of its American service. The company has already announced a variety of supply deals with distributors including Warner Bros., BBC, Fox, NBCUniversal, Village Roadshow Entertainment, Beyond Distribution, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and The Walt Disney Company

Both Stan and Presto tried to trump Netflix by launching their services in late January. Stan predicted it would have over 100,000 sign-ups to the service, which launched with exclusive series including Better Call Saul and Transparent. Stan partners Nine and Fairfax have stepped up their marketing efforts in recent weeks through the Nine TV network and Fairfax Media's newspapers, with a four page wraparound on Fairfax’s Sunday papers The Age and Sydney Morning Herald

Foxtel, half owned by News Corp, meanwhile launched its latest generation set top box, the IQ3, on Monday, while its Presto streaming unit last week announced a supply deal with 21st Century Fox.

Ahead of its official red carpet launch at Sydney’s harborside Museum of Contemporary Art on Tuesday, Netflix stars including Daryl Hannah from the WachowskisSense8, Daredevil’s Charlie Cox and Deborah Ann Woll, Between’s Jennette McCurdy and Marco Polo stars Lorenzo Richelmy, Remy Hii and Uli Latukefu have arrived in Australia and have already hit local media outlets to promote the service. 

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and chief content officer Ted Sarandos are flying in for the 24 hours of launch day.

Original Netflix series available in Australia and New Zealand at launch will include family thriller Bloodline (starring Ben Mendelsohn, Sissy Spacek and Kyle Chandler), Marco PoloUnbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Chelsea Handler: Uganda Be Kidding Me Live, Jim Jefferies: Bare, and DreamWorks Animation’s The Adventures of Puss in Boots. In the coming months Marvel’s Daredevil, Sense8, Netflix’ first feature film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II: The Green Destiny and comedy series Grace and Frankie will launch day and date with their U.S. and European releases.