Netflix has arrived in the Antipodes with one of it’s aims being to end the high amount of piracy down here.
Truth be told, part of the piracy problem stems from the often ridiculously inflated prices that we pay down here for digital products. How can a company justify higher prices for the Australian/New Zealand markets when the product is a download? Quite rightly, the Australian government is holding hearings into why this situation exists, and the answer that seems to be constantly popping up is “greed.”
Fair point to charge more money for a premium product–it’s the entertainment business, after all–but it’s a bit ridiculous to charge different prices in different countries when the product is intangible.
What has really got my goat about Netflix’s roll out has been how it arrogantly shafted the local entertainment industry with no announcement of Australian nor New Zealand production (FYI: they’re doing the same thing in Canada). In my view, that’s just as unacceptable as piracy. You don’t just come into a market and take without giving back or providing opportunities.
The Australian government has announced plans for a tax on “streaming services” like Netflix, and frankly I hope they tax them hard, and that the money goes towards funding local content.
As for Netflix, I doubt they ever would’ve had me as a return customer (disclaimer: I used to have a Netflix account back when they actually sent DVDs. It was a great place to discover LGBT films), but I hope they have a change of heart, because at some point all the buzz will fade and you’re left with diminished profits.