Oz telcos battle to join Netflix as Optus partnership ends

DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 13 July 2015

Netflix's exclusive three-month co-branding deal with Singtel-Optus in Australia has ended, with a bidding war now expected among telcos hoping to partner the streaming service.

Both Telstra and Vodafone Hutchison Australia are reportedly in talks with the US subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) giant, hoping to strike a similar deal ahead of the Christmas shopping period, says the Australian Financial Review.

Vodafone currently has partnerships with homegrown SVOD service Stan, music streamer Spotify and news producer Fairfax Media, while Telstra owns 50% of pay-TV provider Foxtel. Foxtel, in turn, jointly owns SVOD service Presto with Seven West Media.

The three-month co-branding deal allowed Optus to feature Netflix in its marketing campaigns and provide free subscriptions to drive sales. Now it has ended, Netflix is expected to wait for a further three months before entering a similar streaming partnership deal with any of Optus' rivals as part of its original agreement.

"Optus is proud to have helped introduce Netflix to Australians through our exclusive three-month mobile and broadband subscription offer," an Optus spokeswoman said.

"We'll continue to explore opportunities to partner with the world's best entertainment brands so that more Australians can enjoy video on demand both at home and on the go."

Since its launch in March, Netflix has become Australia's most popular service, with recent research firm Telsyte claiming it may already have two million viewers in the country.