• Netflix opens HQ in Syndey
  • Set to rival local streaming services
  • Aiming to grow content output from 1.6% 

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Netflix taps into the Australian market: Opening HQ and commissioning content

Source: Netflix

Netflix has confirmed it will expand its operations on the ground in Australia to compete with local streaming services. 

The US technology giant has reportedly hired local staff as it attempts to fight back to maintain its dominant position in the Australian streaming video market, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. 

Former Twentieth Century Fox head of publicity Sarah Haines has taken on a new role as head of Netflix’s Australia and New Zealand publicity for originals.

Netflix has also hired the former LinkedIn director of public policy for Asia Pacific and Japan Nick O’Donnell as its local director of public policy.

The head office “could signal the business has plans to back more original Australian content,” after it launched its first Australian original Tidelands last December and backed Chris Lilley’s 10-part mockumentary series Lunatics.

The initial office will house around 10 employees based in Sydney.

Netflix first started streaming in Australia in 2015 and is believed to have lost customers to the expanding local subscription video-on-demand offerings including Foxtel and Stan.

The Netflix Australia library includes 1.6% local content compared to 11.1% of Stan, RMIT research from 2018 shows. 

It is estimated around 11 million Australians have a subscription to Netflix, according to Roy Morgan with its local rival Stan having around 1.6 million subscribers, however, no official numbers have been released by the firm. 

The imminent arrival of the Disney+ streaming service, Netflix is facing greater competition, in Australia and across the globe.

Read more Disney+ predicted to take on Netflix and Amazon

The Australian screen industry and production groups have pushed for regulators to impose quotas on video streaming platforms requiring them to ensure a minimum amount of local content is created, similar to those placed on free-to-air television broadcasters.

Disney’s streaming service will rival Netflix with 160 million subscribers, according to JP Morgan research. Its also tipped to be cheaper in Australia with analysts estimating a fee of $10 for the monthly subscription.

Read more Netflix eschews Apple alliance