US online TV network Netflix has confidently proclaimed its business “model works” on the eve of its debut into the competitive Australian and New Zealand markets.
The company has aggressively moved into Canada, South America, the UK and Europe in recent years.
Netflix chief financial officer David Wells told a conference in San Francisco on Wednesday the company was able to overcome challenges, including moving into non-English countries with 80 per cent of its catalogue of movies, TV series and other programming in English.
“We feel like with the expansion in those set of markets (Canada and South America) and now with success in the UK, Nordic countries and The Netherlands, we feel pretty comfortable the model works,” Wells told the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco.
Netflix will begin streaming in Australia and New Zealand on March 24, but will face tough competition, including the Foxtel-Seven streaming service Presto TV.
Netflix boasts more than 50 million members in nearly 50 countries.
Wells said when doing due diligence on a potential new market Netflix is interested in the nation’s level of broadband penetration, the population’s consumption of online video and residents’ wealth and ability to pay for subscriptions.
Netflix originally offered movies and TV series from the major Hollywood studios and other distributors, but the company has had great success in producing original content.
Australian and New Zealand subscribers will have access to Netflix’s award-winning, Kevin Spacey-starring House of Cards, including the new, just released in the US third season.
Wells said another award-winner, prison comedy-drama Orange Is the New Black, will air its third season in June.
Other original Netflix content to debut in 2015 include a second season of the series Marco Polo and the new drama-thriller Bloodline, starring Kyle Chandler and Sissy Spacek.