It appears unlikely that Netflix will expand into the Australian market in 2012, despite the company resuming international expansion operations following promising Q1 results announced overnight.
The movie-streaming and DVD mail-out business looks to be finding its feet after a series of disappointing quarters in 2011 for shareholders, which saw Netflix shed hundreds of thousands of subscribers while tanking the company share price and attracting a class-action lawsuit from angry shareholders. In 2011, Netflix became a cautionary tale for Quickflix, a similar service operating locally, on how not to run a business.
Netflix added 1.7 million subscribers in Q1 2012, while reporting a net loss of US$5 million for the quarter. Following the results, Netflix announced plans to resume international expansion operations.
The company's existing international business units, reporting from the UK, Ireland, Canada and Latin America, raked in US$43 million in international revenue in the first quarter, a three-fold increase in year-on-year streaming revenue. North America, meanwhile, netted the company US$67 million in streaming revenue in Q1.
"Given our expected return to global profitability in Q2, and how well we've been received in the UK, we've decided to open an additional attractive European market in Q4 of this year," Netflix said in its results announcement — making no mention of Australia.
This isn't to say, however, that Netflix will never launch here if given the opportunity.
"Assuming continued success, and additional markets we can enter with confidence, we expect to roughly match the roll-out of new markets to global profitability for the foreseeable future," the company added.
Rumours emerged mid-last year that saw Netflix negotiating with local players for an expansion into the Australian market within 18 months.