US internet television network Netflix says it is ready to fight for Australian and New Zealand viewers in what it describes as highly competitive markets.
Netflix, which revolutionised how Americans watch TV and has expanded around the globe, will launch in Australia and New Zealand in March.
Competitors here and in Australia are trying to beat Netflix to the punch, unveiling rival services.
TVNZ announced its new On Demand service today, which will launch next month.
The service, which will replace its current model, will require users to register and offers new features, including a 'pick up and play' mode that allows users to switch between devices while continuing to watch the same programme.
Yesterday, Spark announced it would make its video on demand service Lightbox available to all broadband customers for free.
• Free Lightbox to boost Spark broadband
Sky TV is also due to launch its video on demand service Neon later this month, while in Australia, Foxtel has unveiled a rival subscription streaming service, Presto TV, with the Seven Network.
"In Australia we will face strong competition this year, and look forward to getting started later this quarter," Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings and chief financial officer David Wells wrote in a statement to shareholders on Tuesday.
Netflix announced its fourth quarter results on Tuesday.
Globally, Netflix added 4.33 million members versus 4.07 million in the previous corresponding period.
The result was above the four million the California-based company forecast.
Netflix also reported a fourth-quarter net profit of US$83.4 million (NZ$109 million), boosted by a US$39 million tax accrual release.
The result was a jump from the $48.4 million net profit it posted in the same period a year earlier.
"In 2014, we added a record 13.0 million new members, compared to 11.1 million in 2013, bringing our global total to 57.4 million members," the executives wrote.
Australasia is one of the last major markets Netflix has entered.
"In late Q1 (first quarter), we'll be launching Netflix in Australia and New Zealand," Hastings and Wells wrote.
"There are numerous local competitors and a thirst for movies and TV shows from around the world.
"Later in the year, we'll launch in additional major countries, in keeping with our global strategy."
Netflix describes itself as the world's leading internet television network with service in nearly 50 countries.
For a monthly fee, subscribers can watch, without commercials, as many of the Netflix library of TV series, documentaries and feature films as they want on nearly any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching programs.