Netflix launches in Australia & New Zealand on March 24

We knew it was coming but now we know when. Will be interested to see if this finally buries Quickflix and how Stan will get going.

I guess we will start to see if having regional TV and newer Hollywood movies will help combat the sheer scale and tech of Netflix.

Will get this worked into the list :: 

Watching the Aussie market and thinking about SVOD

In our little part of the world the most advanced video advertising market and the market with lots of OTT competition is generally considered to be Australia and New Zealand.

For example ::

Some of the players :: – guessing more are coming as well.

So it is interesting to read an article like this ::

For example this is a very good point:

Subscription video services have a monetization model devoid of creativity.
They rely on subscriptions and subscriptions alone to bring in the mullah. It makes it easy to balance the books and has the potential to be quite lucrative in a market like the US where there is a whopping 115 million households that will potentially buy the product.
In comparison, Australia will only have nine million households to market to by 2016.
This means that the maximum revenue potential for the entire SVOD market is roughly $1.1b (based on a $10p/m subscription) in Australia.

But I think this also points to the fact that a large regional player looking at ANZ region as just a piece of the puzzle probably doesn’t care too much about the economics. To me the guys that have to worry about these numbers are the one or two country services. Like Quickflix for example which is already hurdling towards going out of business.

This is the good part though:

I am glad that the TV industry is getting scared.
This invasion of innovation and technology will hopefully spur the industry to evolve.
The SVOD infrastructure seems like the perfect foundation for a new ad funded model that blends the programmatic, targeting and measurement benefits of digital advertising with traditional television.
With a web-augmented and data fueled TV and ad experience the TV industry could have something financially viable on their hands. They could give people the tailored and on-demand content that they desire.
They could banish the Nielsen family and create a robust and reliable TV measurement model.
They could continue to sell us that precious ad space.
If the networks use this opportunity to evolve, the arrival of SVOD services could be the best thing to happen to Australian TV since Kerri-Anne Kennerley.

There is room for some innovation. There is either subscription model or freemium or just free with ads. There are lots of other ideas but generally what happens is the folks that own the content don’t allow the OTT services or the OTT aggregators room to innovate. They are stuck doing the same old thing and having to kowtow to the owners of the content. To me the lack of innovation around the OTT space has to be blamed on the content owners who frown on doing things like download or experimentation around social or payment models. That leaves the content owners needing to be the ones to come up with something cool. Maybe they can use TV to do that or try to take advantage of the what OTT can offer by coming up with something truly innovative.

I am not really holding my breath waiting for it to happen though.

The app economy

As I browsed DF today I can across this ::

I think I bought the vesper app when it was on sale for 2.99 and thought to myself that it was a decent price for the app. I didn’t think it was a steal or a huge bargain because I felt like that was about what I would pay for a notes app. I am sure others thought that it was a huge bargain, an app made by some semi-famous folks that was suddenly on sale.

So here we are today looking at a 9.99 price tag now that the app goes horizontal and works on an iPad. I find this slightly comical. Any of us in the app world normally won’t ship an iOS app that doesn’t work on an iPad from day one. At least I wouldn’t.

The app economy is bizarre since the whole notion of pricing has been eroded to the point where Gruber is almost using this move as a line in the sand. Hey indie devs – put your price up so people value the ecosystem more and truly respect the value of our craft.

I hope it works but somehow I doubt it will.

If Gruber and his tribe can’t survive on a reasonably priced app – 10 bucks is not reasonable, then I am not sure who can. Without a doubt vesper gets way more traffic flowing across it than most other apps just due to Gruber talking about it all the time. 

Unlike Marco with overcast, who has open sourced some of his financials, vesper is three guys who ship stuff pretty slowly. It’s nice stuff but I never have seen it as earth shattering or amazing. Just a good solid notes app that I use to supplement my Evernote addiction. Trip stuff, quick meeting notes and my grocery list type of things are in vesper. Everything else is in Evernote.

So if Gruber can’t make it on decently priced apps then who can?

I know lots of indie devs – – but these guys have a day job. They are doing this to be able to craft stuff outside of work and see how they can dent the universe with apps. 

Then there is – . I use dispatch all the time and I have beta tested some new stuff they are working on. This team does well but I don’t know how well or what their view is when it comes to this pricing stuff. I do know that they realize it’s more about marketing than anything else now.

I can remember when I did one of my fist startups whike blowing through millions of dollars having to buy real hardware, databases and app servers – just to launch. Now one guy can rent hardware and use his own code with open source stacks to launch an empire.

However the issue still is about how does one get exposure? Some have to buy it thus increasing the need for capital. Some people are famous and use their fame to launch or propel an app. I am guessing with the vesper price move they didn’t get as big as they had hoped cause if they had millions of users even on 2.99 they would be doing okay.

When I chat with any indie dev it’s all about getting the word out, holding on to their users and the hope that if they build something new, their current users might be customers of their new product.

We all know the app gold rush is over. Done.

Users think everything should be free or cheap – it’s sad it got to this but it happened. I don’t know what the answer is since I have only built apps that come as part of a service versus building an app I needed to sell to make a living.

Will be interesting to see how vesper does with the new premium pricing.