Users connected to the Internet will soon be able to subscribe to the service and watch what the company calls their "curated selection of popular movies and TV shows in high-definition or 4K." At launch, Netflix's South Pacific offerings will include original series Marco Polo, BoJack Horseman and, DreamWorks Animation's (DWA) All Hail King Julien.
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Netflix shares were advancing 0.50% to $382.95 in early Wednesday trading in New York.
Last month, Netflix reported third quarter earnings of 96 cents on revenue of $1.41 billion, above the 93 cents a share analysts had expected. The company disappointed when it came to the number of paying customers. Netflix announced it had added 980,000 U.S. subscribers in the quarter while analysts has been looking for 1.37 million new users. Fourth-quarter EPS guidance was also below analyst estimates.
Netflix's main competition in the Australian pay-TV marketplace is Foxtel, a joint venture between News Corp. and Telstra. Foxtel recently slashed it's monthly cable and satellite service fees in half to better compete with the new offering from online streaming services. It's estimated that only 30% of Australians subscribe to pay TV services.
The new expansion will bring the number of Netflix countries to more than 50. The service is available to subscribers in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, the U.K., Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland. Currently, more than 25% of Netflix's 53 million customers live outside the United States.
Netflix, once a major purveyor of DVD rentals delivered by mail, now calls itself "the world's leading Internet TV network." It currently offers three-tiered pricing plans -- standard definition video, high-definition and 4K ultra-HD, to one or more screens at a time. Earlier this year the company raised its standard monthly fees a dollar to $8.99 for new customers. That price bump was the first such increase in three years, though long-time members were grandfathered in at $7.99 for two additional years.
Netflix's entertainment offerings for its new region will also include original series including Bloodline starring Sissy Spacek, and Sam Shepard; Marvel's Daredevil, Sense8 from the creators of The Matrix trilogy and Grace and Frankie with Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda.
Just like in its other markets, Netflix promises its new Australia & NewZealand offerings will be available on smart TVs, tablets and smartphones, computers plus a range of Internet-capable game consoles and set-top boxes. The company has yet to announce actual monthly pricing for the region saying only that additional details on pricing, programming and supported devices will be revealed in the near future.
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