Oz SVOD service launches stinging attack on Netflix

Australian on-demand service Quickflix has accused US rival Netflix of encouraging users to illicitly access the latter’s platform.

Stephen LangsfordIn a strongly-worded open letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Quickflix CEO Stephen Langsford said Netflix was “enjoying a free ride in Australia” by ignoring “unauthorised ‘back door’ access” to its services.

This was “taking revenue away from local services, which are investing to service the local market”, Langsford claimed.

Quickflix also provided a document titled ‘Fact Sheet – Quickflix v Netflix’ that compared the services both companies legally provide Australia.

Netflix is yet to launch in Australia despite numerous sources linking it to a 2015 debut, but many Australians access it using VPN services that bypass geo-blocks. US media website mUmbrella estimates 200,000 Australians have signed up to Netflix.

“Unlike yourself, Quickflix has obtained all necessary Australian rights to the content on its platform, faithfully meets all necessary security requirements, including geo-filtering imposed by the content rights holders, and continues to reinvest in its service with the goal of offering the very best service in the market to its customers,” said Langsford.

He also alleged Netflix was “knowingly” taking Australian revenues from the unauthorised access while “investing nothing in the Australian market nor paying for Australian rights”.

He challenged Hastings to “stop turning a blind eye to the VPN services acting as a gateway to your service” and to “have to courage to limit your service only to the territories where you have legally obtained the rights to operate… and do so immediately”.

“Should you decide to enter the market through the front door, Quickflix will be happy to compete with you, fairly and squarely,” Langsford concluded.

Netflix continued its European roll-out today by launching in Germany. The company had not responded to Quickflix’s allegations at press time.