Nine, Fairfax take on Netflix

Media giants Nine and Fairfax are taking on the likes of Netflix with a new a $100 million online video streaming service.

Nine and Fairfax will spend up to $50 million each to establish the new service, StreamCo, which will give users access to movies and TV programs on demand for a monthly subscription fee.

Analysts praised Nine and Fairfax's decision to enter the growing online streaming business, which is the subject of considerable attention thanks to the success of US-based Netflix.

"It does look like Nine has finally woken up to the idea that the Netflix of this world and on-demand streaming is coming about," IG market analyst Evan Lucas said.

"I see it as a reasonably good step forward."

But Mr Lucas said the success of the service would hinge on what content it offered.

StreamCo, which is set to launch sometime this financial year, has already secured "cornerstone" deals with content providers but hasn't given any hints about the types of shows and movies it will offer.

Fusion Strategy founder Steve Allen said streaming-on-demand currently accounted for around three per cent of the overall television market, though it was growing strongly and would be boosted by the roll out of the national broadband network.

"It's quite small but it is going to double in the next five years," he said.

"It's not going to be a large part of the landscape in terms of dollar, but as the NBN rolls out it is going to be more and more the thing that consumers are going to demand."

He said the joint venture was a smart move for both companies and paired Nine's ability to make content and its relationship with international providers with Fairfax's experience in running a subscription-based service.

The new venture will have plenty in the way of competition, notably from Netflix which has an estimated 200,000 subscribers in Australia despite not being officially available here at this stage.

Other subscription-based contenders include Quickflix, which has just over 120,000 paying customers, Foxtel's Presto as well as free services like ABC's iview and Ten's tenplay.

And Nine's arch rival Seven also has plans to enter the market.

Seven West Media boss Tim Worner on Wednesday said the company was in talks to launch its own service.

"Over the last few months those discussions have accelerated and we expect to make an announcement soon but we're not ready to make an announcement yet," he said.

Small?

Sky TV a small company? Yep right, that will be the reason - poor little old them! No I am afraid the real reason is our acceptance to put up with slow internet and poor content. If we had the broadband speeds others have then we would get the content. The players here dont want us clogging up our allready rubbish network by watching quality content that is ours to choose to watch and not the choice of a few who hold the strings. The 'cost' of such a content is not the reason and 4 million potential customers is not something a company would overlook.

Talk about being naive

Being naive is beliving that a tiny company like Sky TV have the power to keep Netflix out of NZ. They have no show with the millions a company like that has. Plus it's not the cost of streaming, it's the cost of buying the online rights for NZ. They can get a bigger return elsewhere so that's why they aren't here yet.

Naive

Seriously please wake up and dont be so naive. Not getting netflix is ALL about companies here blocking it so as not to loose the vast sums they charge us here for satellite tv. The cost to them streaming it to little old New Zealand is not the issue. Wake up and understand even our satellite tv is a poor mans version. Never fails to amaze me how much we just put up with substandard services here.

Nothing to do with government, ISPs etc...

The reason we don't have access to services such as Netflix is nothing to do with anyone in this country. It's simply down to business. International companies such Netflix and Amazon look for biggest bang for their buck. A few hundred thousand subcribers isn't worth outlaying to money to buy the rights when they can chase much larger fish.

Not just Orcon...

Providers can get Netflix, I had it several years ago but after realising I can access the same content for free cancelled my subscription, there are already several reasonably large streaming services like Netflix and Telecom/Spark just released Lightbox but until they reach to top Sport content they are only gonna ever be bit players in the game, competing with SKY tv and the multitude of free streaming services via the net. 

Netflix is available...

If you have Orcon as your ISP. Just happened this week. Maybe other ISPs will follow.

Regional world wide web

We in NZ are locked out because this government has decided to give Murdoch and the owners of telecommunication companies such as Sky etc. ownership of cyber, thus locking out the users from accessing the world wide web.

They restrict our access to information just like China and Syria.

Why not us then?

OK, I can't be alone here in feeling fed up that here in NZ we are not 'allowed' to have the likes of Netflix or, for that matter, many other ofshore online services. Why? Well, could it be that here in NZ we love to have little choice and we love even more to put up with monopolies dictating what we watch? Is it not time the world wide web was open to all of us to make our own choices as to how and what we want to watch rather than being held to ransom by the one provider we have now? Hey ho, at least this way it allows us to head the news with rugby and then follow it up with the less important stuff going on like invasions and bombings. Gotta love a kiwi!

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