I wrote a post a little while back on Netflix Australia, back when I was in the free trial period. I liked it so much that I signed up for a paid package and have kept it ever since. But there are some issues that are coming up for me, primarily the usability of the service and the content that is streamed to Australian users.
I can watch what I want, when I want, on glorious HD streaming and that is no issue at all. But what is it that I want to watch? It has to be said, but the User Interface of Netflix is terrible, seriously terrible.
If I am unsure what I want to watch, I am usually left with the same suggestions every time around. Do I want an Action Movie? Same suggestions as last time I logged in and there is no way to dismiss the ones that I have no interest in to regenerate new suggestions. If this is a problem for you then I highly recommend that you look at the Personalise tab, or look at the ‘Taste Preferences’ in Your Account. Alternatively, make sure that you are rating each and every show/film that you have watched to make sure that you get better suggestions. This doesn’t make it perfect, but it helps the algorithm to make better a judgement.
Quick tip – you can rate programs that you have not watched through Netflix by dropping the down arrow on the short description and then clicking your rating. This was you can cover even more content then just that watched through Netflix.
Content of Netflix Australia
I have read an article here, which says that Netflix Australia users are looking at next year as the time when we will be getting the same content as the US, but I do wonder about that and I think that it is something that I will have to see to believe. With all of the jockeying about who can (and can’t) have the rights to sporting events and streaming, in addition to proposals to tax online products with the GST, I have concerns that this will continue to ensure that Australians are kept in the dark when it comes to entertainment. It seems that, historically, getting quality entertainment to Australia, cheaply, has been a major hurdle and I’m not sure that this will change any time soon.
Whatever way you look at it, Australia still ranks as the lowest, in terms of content, on Netflix. Australia also is the highest in terms of countries that pirate media, it doesn’t take a genius to realise that Australians are happy to resort to piracy in response to a lack of service. I fear that the lack of titles on the Netflix Australia site may just lead it down the path of failing to thrive and that we will again be held ransom by the Murdoch media, who tend to dictate what we can and can’t watch.
You may be reading this and thinking ‘How bad is it?’ Well the graph below really shows the state of affairs with the USA service having up to 6 times the amount of content on the selected categories.
The reality is, that streaming services have led to a drop in piracy, with the linked article quoting the following:
“Over and over, copyright experts have told the government the best way to reduce online piracy in Australia is to make entertainment content affordable and available”
And that is where we will leave it, if Netflix Australia can’t provide similar content to Australia (like the Netflix produced Peaky Blinders) it is highly likely that they will go the way of the local Blockbuster…OK, maybe not that far..