EzyFlix becomes first Netflix casualty in Australia

Australia’s EzyFlix has ceased operations, becoming the first indigenous streaming service to close since global giant Netflix entered the market in March.

EzyFlix posted a message on its website on Tuesday (August 18) saying that parent company Access Digital Entertainment had decided to close the service:

“If you have rented or purchased any movies or TV shows, these movies are no longer available on EzyFlix. If you have purchased or redeemed an UltraViolet title through EzyFlix these may be accessed through several other digital movie services.”

The closure doesn’t bode well for the digital ownership model, at least not in Australia’s increasingly competitive VOD market. EzyFlix was not an SVOD service – it offered films and TV shows on a rental or sell-through basis, starting from A$2.99, while new release movies were available to rent for A$5.99.

Since its closure, it appears that customers have lost all the content they bought to own and watch offline. And while they can still access UltraViolet titles, there are very few options to stream this content in Australia.

EzyFlix was not short on content – it had licensing deals with most of the US studios and local content providers Roadshow Entertainment and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). But it faced a huge amount of competition. In the TVOD space it was up against iTunes, Google Play, Foxtel On Demand, Telstra’s BigPond Movies and Fetch TV.

In addition to Netflix, SVOD services in Australia include Foxtel’s Presto; Stan, jointly owned by Fairfax Media and Nine Entertainment; and Quickflix, which recently announced it would acquire an unnamed Chinese film company. Netflix had already signed up 737,000 Australian subscribers by July.