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Netflix dispatches exec to Australia ahead of launch

NetflixIn another sign that Netflix is actively preparing a forthcoming launch in Australia, the company’s senior director for programmatic buying arrived in the country last week to hold talks with media companies about buying broadcast TV and online advertising space.

According to Australian press reports, Kathy O’Dowd’s visit followed moves last month by Peter Vogel, CEO of the Group M-owned media agency MEC, which represents the subscription video-on-demand provider internationally, to gauge the willingness of the country’s media companies to take adverts from Netflix.

Industry insiders have long prepared for Netflix’s launch in Australia, with local distributors gearing up for new demand. Around two-hundred thousand Australians are estimated to access Netflix through VPN tools that remove geo blocks.

In separate Netflix news, the streaming VOD company has withdrawn its public API, which enabled app developers to create Netflix-related apps enabling users, for example, to navigate through its content in search of particular titles.

The retirement of the API at the end of last week means that Netflix is partnering with a strictly limited number of related app partners, including Warner Bros’ Flixter service and search services CanIStreamIt? And InstantWatcher.