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Netflix Launching Down Under March 24, Undercuts Rivals' Pricing

23 Mar, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

SVOD leader premiering actor-comedian Chris Tucker stand-up comedy special July 10

Let the price wars Down Under begin.

Netflix March 23 announced pricing for its March 24 launches in Australia at $8.99 monthly (Australian) and $9.99 in New Zealand — both price points below competing subscription streaming services.

Netflix Australia will offer a two-stream high-definition plan for $11.99 (Australian), in addition to a four-stream family plan featuring 4K functionality for $14.99 a month.

Netflix’s single-stream plan is less expensive than Stan.com.au ($10/month) — the latter a joint venture between Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media featuring major U.S. studios’ movies and TV shows, including Amazon Prime Instant Video’s Golden Globe-winning original series “Transparent.”

Other Aussie SVOD services include Quickflix.com.au and Presto.com.au (both $9.99). Presto enables streaming to four separate devices, including two different titles. Subscribers can opt either for movies or TV shows. A combo costs $14.99 a month.

Quickflix operates similarly to Netflix in the United States by offering by-mail disc rentals in DVD and Blu-ray Disc. Disc rentals cost $12.99 monthly. It also features transactional VOD and electronic sellthrough.

In New Zealand, Sky TV’s Neon SVOD service (launched in December featuring select HBO programing) costs $20 a month, while Lightbox costs $15.

It remains to be seen how Kiwis take to subscription streaming. In a Horizon Research poll of 1,088 adults last fall, 52.6% of respondents on average said they had no interest in subscribing to Netflix, Quickflix or Lightbox. Another 45.2% said they had no interest in Neon. That percentage could ramp up significantly following the launch of HBO Now – the premium channel’s pending SVOD service.

Separately, Netflix announced that actor and comedian Chris Tucker would headline his first full-length stand-up comedy special, Chris Tucker Live, premiering exclusively on Netflix on Friday, July 10.

In the special, Tucker (Rush Hour) returns to the stage showcasing impersonations and on-stage physicality, as he shares his experiences from childhood to the big time. The special was filmed at the Fox Theatre in Tucker’s hometown of Atlanta, Ga.

“Chris Tucker is a true global movie star and a one-of-a-kind talent whose remarkable energy, delivery and original style make him one of the funniest comedians of our time,” chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement.

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