Australians Pay Up to 431% More For Online TV Shows

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Australians Pay Up to 431% More For Online TV Shows

Australians using Foxtel Play pay 431% more than Americans using Netflix for that latest season of Orange is the New Black.

Being Australian, I always knew that the "Australia Tax" on digitally distributed goods was unreasonable, but I never knew it was quite this bad. In a report, The Age (via consumer advocacy group Choice) has discovered that in some cases, Australians pay a whopping 431% more than the rest of the world does when streaming online TV shows.

As the most extreme example, Australians using Foxtel Play pay 431% more than Americans using Netflix for that latest season of Orange is the New Black. Other absurdly high figures include Season 5 of The Walking Dead, in which the cheapest available price for Australians is $39.99 through iTunes, 376% more than UK NowTV customers pay to stream it.

"Time and again we are seeing consumers hit with the 'Australia tax' on digital content. It's clear the business models forced on consumers by local intermediaries are subjecting Australians to artificially high prices for overseas content," Choice chief executive Alan Kirkland said.

In response, Bruce Meagher, group director of corporate affairs at Foxtel, said "Choice have made invalid comparisons between completely different products to justify their claims. To compare Foxtel's service with that of Netflix in the US is nonsensical."

In other cases, many popular shows (such as Season 3 of Arrested Development) are simply unavailable to Australian customers to purchase legally. Those figures showing just how much Australians pirate suddenly make a whole lot more sense... Maybe the American ambassador should take a look at just how high our prices are before lecturing us.

Source: The Age

Permalink

Yeah, comparing Foxtel and Netflix is nonsensical.

Because Netflix is a service worthy of it's customers time and money.

I would not be surprised to learn that there may be collusion between Telstra and Foxtel to keep Netflix out of Australia. Telstra doesn't want to offer unlimited plans to customers and since Foxtel is partnered with Telstra, they won't make Netflix unmetered content. Netflix, based on my experience through my wife, offers a superior movie service that this country would swallow wholesale if given the opportunity.

Keeping Netflix out allows them to get away with this kind of price fixing (yes, I know it's not technically price fixing but you get what I mean) and also gives them power to dictate how users use their services. The only people winning here are Telstra and Foxtel, and the customer is getting screwed as usual.

Damn, everything in Australia costs SO MUCH compared to the US.

On the plus side, there are a number of VPNs people use, there just aren't that many people aware of it yet. I wonder if ISPs in Australia will do what NZ ISPs did and offer VPN services along with their plans.

There's also plans from Netflix to move in on the hungry Aussie market at some undefined date in 2015. Telstra and Foxtel will either change or die. It'll be good to not have greedy corporations holding us back.

1Life0Continues:
I would not be surprised to learn that there may be collusion between Telstra and Foxtel to keep Netflix out of Australia. Telstra doesn't want to offer unlimited plans to customers and since Foxtel is partnered with Telstra, they won't make Netflix unmetered content. Netflix, based on my experience through my wife, offers a superior movie service that this country would swallow wholesale if given the opportunity.

Keeping Netflix out allows them to get away with this kind of price fixing (yes, I know it's not technically price fixing but you get what I mean) and also gives them power to dictate how users use their services. The only people winning here are Telstra and Foxtel, and the customer is getting screwed as usual.

Everyone in Australia has pretty much figured this out a while ago already. It's why our piracy rates are so high.

Steven Bogos:
Maybe the American ambassador should take a look at just how high our prices are before lecturing us.

Never let facts get in the way of a paid political announcement.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. This is the reason why piracy is so rampant in my country, digital goods here are either:

a) Prohibitively expensive
b) Flat out unobtainable legally until months later

When it's cheaper for me to purchase physical game discs from Asia, Britain or the United States and ship them here than buying retail... something is up.

1Life0Continues:
I would not be surprised to learn that there may be collusion between Telstra and Foxtel to keep Netflix out of Australia. Telstra doesn't want to offer unlimited plans to customers and since Foxtel is partnered with Telstra, they won't make Netflix unmetered content. Netflix, based on my experience through my wife, offers a superior movie service that this country would swallow wholesale if given the opportunity.
.

I wondered if JB Hi fi would have a say too...as much as I love JB HI FI....Netflix would hurt them and if our internet got better almost kill them

AntiChri5:
Yeah, comparing Foxtel and Netflix is nonsensical.

Because Netflix is a service worthy of it's customers time and money.

he's actually right...except that doesn't make Foxtel any less bullshit, the problem is that Foxtel is the only way we can "legitimately" get those shows at the time

Foxtel is out-dated bullshit, I imagine a lot of people in my demographic who are used to streaming things don't want to pay that much money for a bazillion programs they don't want to watch...fucking pawn shop, hard-core pawn, American motorbike monster truck storage locker people....the fuck wants to pay for that shit?

I get my OITNB season 2 on ITunes....which is "ok" even if they have to arbitrarily stagger it out into weekly releases...I still can't belive in America it was realised on Netflix all at once

It's not really that Australia pays more for all its digital goods; it's more that we're paying off our past crimes. Once we've paid off our debt to society, we're allowed to rejoin society, and pay reasonable prices.

Don't worry everyone, I'm sure the Captain of Team Australia won't be happy to know that Australians are paying an unnecessary tax.

This may or may not be related: I remember reading an article involving Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) while he was in Australia couple of years ago. He sees his own product over priced compared to that of U.S. so he asks the guy in record label. The guy's answer was that there were dedicated fans who would buy whatever Reznor puts out so he deliberately over charges the fans.

Reznor gets angry for their exploiting of his fans so he urges fans at concerts to pirate his work.

So... yeah. I can sympathize with them if the company is being greedy exploitative fucks.

Paying a little more for TV shows is a small price to pay for not living in the USA.

Good job , way to combat piracy!

Honestly just set up a proxy and pay for Netflix, its not ideal but its worth it.

Companies need to understand there are no borders on the internet so why make things hard for people to legally get as they are at some point going to just say "f**k it, i will just pirate it" congratulations your greed has just cost you a sale.

I live in the UK now we don't get screwed nearly as much as you do but we still get screwed, look at the number of shows you can watch on US netflix vs UK.

Just install https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/hola-better-internet/gkojfkhlekighikafcpjkiklfbnlmeio?hl=en and you can watch US netflix to your hearts content.

And i mean when an artist is telling fans to pirate there own work you know something is wrong and needs to change.

and people wonder why we pirate....

CpT_x_Killsteal:
On the plus side, there are a number of VPNs people use, there just aren't that many people aware of it yet. I wonder if ISPs in Australia will do what NZ ISPs did and offer VPN services along with their plans.

The content providers are very much aware of VPNs, and having ISPs offer them as a service to customers is almost the exact opposite of what they want to happen.

Also, foxtel is owned by Rupert Murdoch, the massive cunt, that got our cunt PM elected. I'll be dead before I give money to him. It's the reason I've not seen season 4 of Game of Thrones, thank God for the books.

There are ways to circumvent the Australia Tax. And I'll continue to do so until things here are priced reasonably. It's cheaper for me to buy a complete set of BD anime from Japan at $70 per volume than it is to do the same for regular television shows over here most of the time. And Australian BDs don't come with awesome bonuses and swag.

Kahani:

CpT_x_Killsteal:
On the plus side, there are a number of VPNs people use, there just aren't that many people aware of it yet. I wonder if ISPs in Australia will do what NZ ISPs did and offer VPN services along with their plans.

The content providers are very much aware of VPNs, and having ISPs offer them as a service to customers is almost the exact opposite of what they want to happen.

Unfortunately for the content providers there is f**k all they can do about it , you cannot block them fast enough as soon as one VPN is blocked another will be set up.

EDIT

There is a very easy way they could stop people using them however, simply stop ripping people off.

there is next to no point getting netflix once it officially arrives in Australia, due to licensing deals, etc the amount of content will be a hell of a lot lower than the US version, heck a Canadian friend of mine can get canadian netflix but still uses the american one for exactly that reason.

dont forget according to the head of roadshow the people who use a proxy and pay for netflix are as bad as terrorists and pedophiles.

so yes i can pay $30 for a single season of a tv show streaming or i can pay a third of that for the whole of netflix.. and people wonder why australians skip the bullshit middle man

Kahani:

CpT_x_Killsteal:
On the plus side, there are a number of VPNs people use, there just aren't that many people aware of it yet. I wonder if ISPs in Australia will do what NZ ISPs did and offer VPN services along with their plans.

The content providers are very much aware of VPNs, and having ISPs offer them as a service to customers is almost the exact opposite of what they want to happen.

Well no one wants VPNs to be a necessity, but if we keep gettin' screwed, we'll either use em or pirate. They're gonna need to do more than have a cry if they wanna screw us over.

This is pretty much why we are the international leaders of GoT piracy. Foxtel is a joke...except not even remotely funny.

Yeah, comparing Netflix ($7.99? per month for pretty close to unlimited content) vs. Foxtel ($110 per month for a limited set of channels + $15 if you want an even more limited set of those channels in HD + One off and rental costs for certain movies and TV shows) is completely nonsensical.

Haru17:
Damn, everything in Australia costs SO MUCH compared to the US.

Their Min wage is also higher.

small:
there is next to no point getting netflix once it officially arrives in Australia, due to licensing deals, etc the amount of content will be a hell of a lot lower than the US version, heck a Canadian friend of mine can get canadian netflix but still uses the american one for exactly that reason.

dont forget according to the head of roadshow the people who use a proxy and pay for netflix are as bad as terrorists and pedophiles.

so yes i can pay $30 for a single season of a tv show streaming or i can pay a third of that for the whole of netflix.. and people wonder why australians skip the bullshit middle man

The Netflix Canada has gotten a whole lot better over the past year, at least for shows. They are more readily avilable on Netlfix Canada than on Netlfix US. The one I would say is the worst is Netflix U.K. So little choice, though they do (or at least used to) have a lot of Pixar on there.

Steven Bogos:

As the most extreme example, Australians using Foxtel Play pay 431% more than Americans using Netflix for that latest season of Orange is the New Black. Other absurdly high figures include Season 5 of The Walking Dead, in which the cheapest available price for Australians is $39.99 through iTunes, 376% more than UK NowTV customers pay to stream it.

Shouldn't that be Season 4 of the Walking Dead? Season 5 airs this fall, unless I'm unaware of some pre airing buying going on here.

joshuaayt:
It's not really that Australia pays more for all its digital goods; it's more that we're paying off our past crimes. Once we've paid off our debt to society, we're allowed to rejoin society, and pay reasonable prices.

Lets see, Aussies get fleeced with insanely higher charges and sometimes they have to wait to watch it legally or can't even legally access it at all, and Foxtel and politicians wonder why they pirate so much? And their response it too try and push harsher penalties for piracy or even lean on ISPs to police their subs? Have they ever heard of treating the cause and not the symptoms?

i was just reading the choice report.. aparently they didnt take into account buying vs renting/streaming hence the huge difference

Not heard of Foxtel. Looked it up. Newscorp? Ah. Murdoch. Sorry guys, hope some competition sees it's way through.

Steven Bogos:
Australians Pay Up to 431% More For Online TV Shows

Australians using Foxtel Play pay 431% more than Americans using Netflix for that latest season of Orange is the New Black.

Being Australian, I always knew that the "Australia Tax" on digitally distributed goods was unreasonable, but I never knew it was quite this bad. In a report, The Age (via consumer advocacy group Choice) has discovered that in some cases, Australians pay a whopping 431% more than the rest of the world does when streaming online TV shows.

As the most extreme example, Australians using Foxtel Play pay 431% more than Americans using Netflix for that latest season of Orange is the New Black. Other absurdly high figures include Season 5 of The Walking Dead, in which the cheapest available price for Australians is $39.99 through iTunes, 376% more than UK NowTV customers pay to stream it.

"Time and again we are seeing consumers hit with the 'Australia tax' on digital content. It's clear the business models forced on consumers by local intermediaries are subjecting Australians to artificially high prices for overseas content," Choice chief executive Alan Kirkland said.

In response, Bruce Meagher, group director of corporate affairs at Foxtel, said "Choice have made invalid comparisons between completely different products to justify their claims. To compare Foxtel's service with that of Netflix in the US is nonsensical."

In other cases, many popular shows (such as Season 3 of Arrested Development) are simply unavailable to Australian customers to purchase legally. Those figures showing just how much Australians pirate suddenly make a whole lot more sense... Maybe the American ambassador should take a look at just how high our prices are before lecturing us.

Source: The Age

Permalink

Their forefathers would be appalled at the lack of theft!

joshuaayt:
It's not really that Australia pays more for all its digital goods; it's more that we're paying off our past crimes. Once we've paid off our debt to society, we're allowed to rejoin society, and pay reasonable prices.

Wait, WHAT? WHAT!?

OT:

And this is why I like the used games/dvd rental stores. Cheap and satisfying!

I have never understood this. I've heard Steam prices have a similar hike.
Is it the service providers or is Foxtel the australian Netflix and they are just being cunts?

I can understand a certain amount of localisation, different countries have different laws regarding sex and indecency... Germany has this crazy thing about not showing the swastika out of historical context (strange huh?).

I can understand that the shipping on physical items might end up being extortionate, I imagine customs checking each individual package to ensure no immigrants are hiding in the box-set of Breaking Bad.

Surely when you set a $10 price tag on a digital item and then sell it internationally then you just convert the $10 to the local currency and be done with it. But no, apparently that's not fuckish enough.

The aussies are a great lot, shame that a few cunts ruin it for the majority.

CpT_x_Killsteal:
On the plus side, there are a number of VPNs people use, there just aren't that many people aware of it yet. I wonder if ISPs in Australia will do what NZ ISPs did and offer VPN services along with their plans.

There's also plans from Netflix to move in on the hungry Aussie market at some undefined date in 2015. Telstra and Foxtel will either change or die. It'll be good to not have greedy corporations holding us back.

Foxtel and the complete nutjob from Village Roadshow know about this. Foxtel has all rights and this is actually illegal way of getting your content under current conditions.

Turnball had an event with these two stakeholders, Choice and anyone who wanted last night. I hope it will start getting rid of this silliness

WeepingAngels:

Haru17:
Damn, everything in Australia costs SO MUCH compared to the US.

Their Min wage is also higher.

Isn't Brazil's Min wage more than the US now? (kidding - due to the GFC, the income inequality is getting worse than the US.)

The reason why our min wage HAS to be higher is things cost more. At min wage, if you had your own small place, you'd be able to pay for rent and not much more. We offer traineeship at my work. If the person doesn't live at home, they literally can't afford the rate they are paid. That means they could be under the parents roof for another 4 years (depending on the length of the traineeship). When you get out, you don't earn much more. There is no disposable income when your on min wage here.

trunkage:

WeepingAngels:

Haru17:
Damn, everything in Australia costs SO MUCH compared to the US.

Their Min wage is also higher.

Isn't Brazil's Min wage more than the US now? (kidding - due to the GFC, the income inequality is getting worse than the US.)

The reason why our min wage HAS to be higher is things cost more. At min wage, if you had your own small place, you'd be able to pay for rent and not much more. We offer traineeship at my work. If the person doesn't live at home, they literally can't afford the rate they are paid. That means they could be under the parents roof for another 4 years (depending on the length of the traineeship). When you get out, you don't earn much more. There is no disposable income when your on min wage here.

Chicken and the egg. Things may cost more because employers have to pay more.

WeepingAngels:

trunkage:

WeepingAngels:

Their Min wage is also higher.

Isn't Brazil's Min wage more than the US now? (kidding - due to the GFC, the income inequality is getting worse than the US.)

The reason why our min wage HAS to be higher is things cost more. At min wage, if you had your own small place, you'd be able to pay for rent and not much more. We offer traineeship at my work. If the person doesn't live at home, they literally can't afford the rate they are paid. That means they could be under the parents roof for another 4 years (depending on the length of the traineeship). When you get out, you don't earn much more. There is no disposable income when your on min wage here.

Chicken and the egg. Things may cost more because employers have to pay more.

I didn't say they had political problems, outside of all that censorship BS. Believe me, I'm fully aware how hard it is to find a developed country with more backwards policies than the US. Yep, America, land of opportunity and no compassion for others...

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