Netflix's Australian block keeps Quickflix going

Netflix's Australian block keeps Quickflix going

Summary: The chief operating officer of Quickflix, Tim Parsons, has admitted that the company can exist because geo-targeting prevents companies like Netflix from launching globally.

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Chief operations officer of troubled movie distribution company Quickflix, Tim Parsons, has admitted that the company's existence has been reliant on Netflix not being available in Australia.

Quickflix, which started out as a DVD rental company via the post, has moved to become an online streaming content provider. It is one of a growing number of online streaming companies in Australia, competing with the likes of iTunes, YouTube, and FetchTV. The company's US equivalent, Netflix, remains out of reach for Australians, however, with geo-blocking or "geo-targeting" in place that aims to prevent access to Netflix content such as Kevin Spacey's new hit political drama House of Cards.

Speaking at the Australian Digital Alliance Copyright Forum in Canberra this morning, Parsons said that because Netflix has to respect the licence agreements the studios have in place with countries around the world, companies like Quickflix can exist.

"Although geo-targeting is bloody annoying from the view of the consumer, the flip side is we don't have Netflix dominating the entire planet doing over the top distribution. We, as Quickflix, can exist," he said.

Parsons boasted that the entire series of The Sopranos, which finished in 2007, is now available to stream on Quickflix. In response to a question on why more content isn't available in Australia, Parsons said that Australia's population size makes it harder to negotiate the deals with studios that Netflix has been able to.

"The biggest challenge we have here in Australia is scale. We have to pay minimum guarantees to our partners, which is a standard way of doing business around the world. The minimum guarantees are tied into how many titles you can license at any one time," he said.

"We have to be a lot more respectful in partnering with our colleagues in the US and UK and all these other markets who are the content owners. We need to do business with them, and if we don't respect the terms of their distribution agreements with us, then they won't take our calls."

iiNet's chief regulatory officer Steve Dalby said that consumers just want the content to be available.

"I think the word 'available' has fairly broad meaning. The sort of comments that people make that it is unreasonable for consumers to tell suppliers when they want to watch stuff — that just speaks volumes of their attitude to those people," he said.

"They'd rather treat them as offenders than customers."

The last financial year has been tough for Quickflix, with the company reporting an AU$14 million loss. It has changed CEOs, and is cutting one third of its workforce. Parsons said he thinks the company will do much better this year.

"We're still working it out. We're still struggling to make our business profitable, though I think we'll get there this year."

Topics: Australia, Networking

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Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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11 comments
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  • Netflix in Australia

    It's possible to get Netflix in Australia.

    Sign up to Unblock-US - follow the instructions and then sign up to Netflix.

    I looked at Quickflix ... it's expensive comparatively and there isn't a lot of content that I want to watch.

    Netflix on the other hand is amazing.

    I can see why Quickflix is scared ...
    colonelmattyman
  • Netflix in Australia

    You can use a service like Show Monkey (https://showmonkey.com/) They offer a 7 day free trial so you can try it out. You just have to change the DNS settings on each device you want to watch American Netflix on. No need to change it back after. They only reroute the specific sites they support so it doesn't affect your other browsing. I use it on my PS3, Xbox, iPad, etc. It's been working great and it's only $5/month. Great value considering all the content it unblocks for me.
    beavcc
  • Go die Quickflix you scamming pricks.

    If you get a coupon for a "free trial" of Quickflix throw it in the bin.

    1. You need a credit card to sign up for this free trial.
    2. The next month of service which is like $45(might be 6 weeks) comes out automatically if you dont cancel subscription.
    3. The only way to cancel subscription is the cancel said credit card.
    4. They continue to chase you(Demand Payment) for DVDs that have already been returned.
    nicholaas321
    • Re: The only way to cancel subscription is the cancel said credit card.

      Call your credit-card provider and ask for a chargeback.
      ldo17
  • I use Netflix, Hulu Plus and HBO Go in Australia

    I subscribe to Netflix and Hulu Plus in Australia. It's incredibly easy to do, sign up to www.unblock-us.com for $5 a month and access a huge range of blocked international streaming sites/apps/services. Unblock also allows you to switch between all 10 Netflix region catalogues on the fly, gives you heaps more content. Hulu plus is also great for new release shows. HBO Go on the other hand requires you finding someone in the US willing to share or rent their HBO cable login, which I was able to do. Quickflix is a joke of a service and will never survive long term, too expensive for far too little content.
    davidhes
  • What is Quickflix? :)

    Been running unblock us and netflix for nearly a year now. It's nearly faultless and awesome! Watched all of 24 from start to finish and my kids get to browse the kids section and choose stuff to watch. All for a grand total of $12 a month US. Read it again - $12 a month. $7 for netflix and $5 for unblock us. BEST.VALUE.EVER.
    Funnily enough, I barely use bit torrent any more. There are odd occasions where we have to use it, but by and large netflix has plenty of stuff to watch.
    Might check out Hulu as well when I have time.
    BigScotty
  • Dead Dux

    Use hola.org or unblock - get yourself a pre-paid card from the US online - and you're set.

    No more price gouging from an immoral company that use dirty tactics to prevent customers from cancelling. Sheesh - most of the stuff on their "just added' you have to pay extra for - and the other content is older then Methuselah.

    It's only a matter of time before Quickflix tank and they know it. Tick tock - the croc is comin'....
    Chiyuo
  • Quickflix

    It's not Quickflix's fault they don't have the same content as Netflix or Hulu, it's the STUPID local movie studios who just simply, still don't get it.
    There is no reason Quickflix couldn't be just as good, but until the powers above them come to their senses, nothing will change and people will continue to pull content from the USA via these services.
    Thanks for the tips all, about to signup for Unblock US for my XBox so I can begin using Hulu or Netflix, any idea how much they are before I do?
    simmomelb
    • I see you can't read..

      Try reading the other comments, shill.
      Chiyuo
  • Another alternative

    I use the method described here. It allows my to not only watch Netflix in Australia but also Hulu and tons of other US only websites http://vpnfreedom.com/netflix/how-to-watch-netflix-from-australia/
    beau parisi
  • vpn

    The best VPN experience I had in a very long time https://www.iwasel.com/en/ . I managed to hide my IP adress and unblock websites directly with just one click application. It is not easy to find a real good VPN provider.
    Dina Afifi