Netflix tablet

Netflix will launch in New Zealand in March. A press release from the online video service say it will soon begin operation in New Zealand and Australia.

From day one New Zealand viewers will be able to watch Netflix video on suitably equipped smart TVs, tablets, smartphones, computers and set-top boxes.

Although here was no specific price information in the press release, the company promises to offer “original series, movies, documentaries, stand-up comedy specials and TV shows for a low monthly price”.

Slingshot General Manager Taryn Hamilton sent a press release saying “it’s great”. InternetNZ is “thrilled” in its press release and CEO Jordan Carter seems excited:

Owen Williams forgot to turn off his caps lock key:

Rohan McMahon from Crown Fibre Holdings has already got his job application in:

At the NBR Chris Keall has an interesting perspective. He starts by writing:

…it could blunt the appeal of Sky TV’s pending Netflix-style service Neon, Spark’s recently launched Lightbox — which has the ambitious target of 70,000 subscribers by June next year — and the more established Quickflix, which operates on both sides of the Tasman.

However, as Keall and lots of other people on Twitter point out, Sky has locked-in a lot of popular video content rights for New Zealand. That means local customers won’t get access to as much content as they find on the US service. Many New Zealanders buy US Netflix services using VPNs and other tricks to bypass geo-blocking.

Until now Netflix has happily turned a blind eye to New Zealander consumers buying its services this way. Keall wonders out loud if the streaming giant will make access to its US service harder once it lands here. He says that would make life easier for Lightbox, Neon and Quickflix.

Fibre likely winner

Chorus, Enable, NorthPower and Ultrafast Fibre will be cock-a-hoop about the Netflix announcement. So will the ISPs aiming to sell fibre. Video streaming, especially high quality video-streaming is the nearest thing to a killer app for people selling fibre broadband services.

The latest figures from Crown Fibre Holdings show a little over 10 percent of the people in fibre network areas now buy UFB services. That’s still small, but momentum is building. Netflix, even just the publicity about the service, will create even more interest in fibre.

The fibre uptake number is important to Chorus and the local fibre companies. They earn money as people sign-up, the greater the up-take percentage, the faster they can recover money from building networks.