ITEX: Netflix not coming to NZ – blames poor broadband and content deals
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Poor broadband penetration, internet infrastructure and difficulties securing regional distribution deals is keeping Netflix from coming to New Zealand, says Brent Ayrey, vice president of product innovation at Netflix.
“There are no current plans to launch Netflix in New Zealand,” said Ayrey, during his keynote presentation at ITEX.
Netflix provides an on-demand streaming subscription service for television and movies in the US. Its plans start at US$7.99 a month and subscribers can download as much content as they want.
“The way we think about our international opportunities is that it’s a little bit tactical in terms of the content we can access, and then it’s about broadband connectivity."
Ayrey says that broadband penetration in New Zealand is only at 66 percent, and current data pricing would make the service difficult to sell to consumers."Generally when we look at potential markets, metered broadband is a deterrent.”
He expressed concerns that New Zealand's broadband infrastructure would not be able to handle the amount of data Netflix requires, with Netflix accounting for 33 percent of all downstream internet traffic in the US.
"It's really a function of do people watch TV? Do we have the content? Does the internet infrastructure work? The answer for at least the last question for New Zealanders is no."
Ayrey says that Netflix also faces considerable challenges getting distribution agreements from the major studios, a problem the company encounters globally.
In New Zealand for example, Netflix would need to compete for distribution rights with Sky Television's iSky streaming media offering, and Fatso (which is majority owned by Sky) for DVD by mail. Sky has been in New Zealand for more than a decade has had formed distribution agreements with the various studios.
"The dream for us is to get to scale and buy some of that content globally, but today the structure is very much geographically determined. Different markets have different sets of rules, different structures, different players and different distributors. It's fairly complicated."
Ayrey's keynote speech was on product innovation and emerging trends that will effect internet products in the future. He says there are four key trends to consider for companies creating internet products.
Ayrey says that by 2015 there will be 500 million internet connected televisions in homes around the world, which is especially relevant to content companies.“It’s not a huge deal right now, but it’s becoming more and more significant.”
Always connected devices
He says that consumers will be using tablets like the iPad and Amazon Kindle Fire more, and moving away from desktops and laptops which will be relegated to hardcore working devices.
He used Amazon, which competes with Netflix with its Instant Video service, as an example of a company which has jumped on this trend by selling its Kindle Fire tablets below cost. “This is a very different strategy to the one Apple deployed. The reason they’re doing this is because they want devices in people’s hands so they consume Amazon media.”
Move towards natural interactions
“There is an accelerated shift away from old control methods like keyboards, mice, and controllers to something new and easy,” says Ayrey.
He talked about how easy it is for both his one year old daughter, and 88 year old grandmother to interact with his iPad using touch gestures. Ayrey says that with Microsoft’s Kinect motion control, and Apple’s Siri voice control, we will have a suite of tools to make interacting with machines easier and more intuitive.
“It’s very clear that these new modes of interaction will replace the keyboard, mouse and other hard stuff that took some of us many years to get comfortable with.”
The last trend he talked about was social, specifically sharing the activities of people using online services.
“For Facebook the last five years was about connecting people,” says Ayrey.“The next five years will be about connecting activity.”
He says that Netflix users sharing their video watching habits on Facebook directly increase the number of people streaming their movies and TV shows. Facebook is encouraging app developers like Netflix to make the most of its new news feed feature, a ticker which shows your friends’ latest activities, what Facebook calls ‘frictionless sharing’.
Ayrey says he sees this, and other recommendation engines like it, as what consumers will be looking at to discover their next purchase, and the value in companies harnessing it.
“We’ve found that the best source of information on movies to watch or products to check out is your friends. And if your friends can automatically endorse a product through Facebook, that’s really powerful.”
When talking about developing great products, Ayrey told the ITEX audience that there are many ways for companies to make product innovation decisions, some of which work better than others.
Posted by Anonymous at 12:58:07 on November 30, 2011
Posted by Anonymous at 12:50:23 on November 30, 2011
Posted by Anonymous at 12:51:06 on November 28, 2011
Posted by Anonymous at 9:24:27 on November 28, 2011
My advice - let your MP know that getting rid of geo-blocking needs to go into the trans-pacific free trade talks urgently!
Posted by Anonymous at 13:02:37 on November 25, 2011
Posted by Anonymous at 12:19:59 on November 25, 2011
I've got cable from Telstra, but no phone or tv services. I'd pay for fatsos services streaming, as DVD rental seems so last century, but i
Know it would be locked down withdrm and only run on supported devices which is the other problem. Internet tv is trivial, drm and rights are the problems.
Posted by A Nony Mouse at 11:27:38 on November 25, 2011
I think the time where US has all the choice and the rest of the world can go f*** itself is over. Dear US, equal (content) rights for everyone!
So if Netflix/industry or whoever decides not to come into the NZ market they should have no means to enforce copyright claims. Simple enough.
Ah well... dreams are a nice thing to have.
Posted by Anonymous at 11:17:14 on November 25, 2011
Posted by Be Quiet at 0:48:01 on November 26, 2011
Posted by Anonymous at 11:04:13 on November 25, 2011