Richard Branson's Virgin Could Launch A Video-On-Demand Service In Australia Before Netflix

Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood in House of Cards. Photo: Supplied

Richard Branson’s Virgin Group has reportedly held preliminary meetings with Australian television and cinema executives, ahead of the possible launch of a video streaming website that would beat providers such as Netflix to the market.

According to The Australian Financial Review, the meetings have taken place in the last two months. Virgin did not comment, though the report said the video-on-demand service would be tied in with the company’s Australian retail chain Virgin Mobile.

Netflix, on the back of hit shows such as House of Cards, has secured around 44 million users who pay a monthly subscription fee. This gives them access to thousands of hours of movies and TV shows that can be streamed on demand. It’s not currently available in Australia.

“A partnership makes a lot of sense. A combined media subscription model has many benefits and significantly lessens the risk involved, while increasing the opportunity to succeed. But those kind of discussions obviously take time,” one executive told the AFR.

Meanwhile, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull signalled his willingness to review media ownership laws in Australia in an interview on Sky News yesterday, explaining that traditional outlets such as television stations were under threat from online competitors.

There’s more here.

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