24 Mar 2015

On-demand competition hots up

9:12 am on 24 March 2015

Competition to win subscribers for on-demand television services is heating up with the launch of Netflix in New Zealand.

Netflix's services begin in this country today with plans starting at $9.99 a month.

Screengrab of Netflix NZ website

Screengrab of Netflix's New Zealand website Photo: NETFLIX

Yesterday, Spark's Lightbox announced a drop in its monthly pricing from $15 to $13 and plans to add some new shows.

Netflix is also competing with Sky Network Television's Neon and Quickflix, and even its own United States parent.

Research director at telecommunications company IDC, Peter Wise, said Sky remained in the box seat for now though Netflix's cheaper plans and free trial should help it gain traction.

As a global brand Netflix was so big it commissioned its own series, such as House of Cards, he said, but its long term success would depend on what it can offer viewers.

"You'd probably pick them as a favourite - but then again they're new to New Zealand," said Mr Wise.

"Over 50 percent of households have got Sky, so Sky's probably the incumbent in terms of content with New Zealand, so I think it will be quite a while before that erodes."

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