Netflix’s first Australian reality show ‘Byron Baes’ will take audiences into the lives of Byron Bay’s most-followed influencers

credit: @netflixanz

  • Netflix Australia is developing a documentary-style reality show set in Byron Bay that will offer an inside glimpse into the drama and love lives of Byron Bay’s influencer community.
  • “There’s no better backdrop — or magnet for influencers than Byron Bay,” said Netflix’s director of content for Australia and New Zealand Que Minh Luu.
  • The announcement signals the streaming platform’s accelerating investment in original Australian content.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Netflix Australia is developing “Byron Baes”, an eight-part original docu-soap that promises to take viewers behind “the perfect post” glimpse into the lives of Byron Bay’s top influencers, the streaming platform announced today.

The announcement marks the streaming platform’s continued investment in original Australian content marketed to international, as well as local audiences.


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Netflix’s director of content for Australia and New Zealand Que Minh Luu told the Sydney Morning Herald that covering Australia’s thriving Byron Bay influencer community in a documentary-style show was “a no brainer.”

“There’s no better backdrop — or magnet for influencers than Byron Bay” she said in a press release announcing the news.

She said the “live feed” of Instagrammers who live and post from Byron Bay, which is only growing, is ready-made fodder for reality TV.

“We’re following them as they’re going about the hustle and finding love and happiness and the validation of the people around them and people online,” she said in a media statement.

Luu also stressed the show was not planning on ridiculing influencers, but rather playfully exploring the day-to-day realities of life as a creator and building “a connection between the people we meet in the show and ourselves as the audience.”

“This is our love letter to Byron Bay,” she said.

A viral Vanity Fair article published in 2020 that delved into the lives of a group of Byron Bay women who make a living of aspirational lifestyle content garnered international attention for the beachside town’s burgeoning influencer community.

While Netflix hasn’t yet announced details of the cast or when the series will air, it’s hinted it’s unlikely that the subjects of the Vanity Fair expose will be featured. Australian model Elyse Knowles has been tipped as a likely cast member.

The region, which has transformed from a lazy hippie community popular with surfers and backpackers, to a haven for Australian celebrities and Hollywood’s elite, has gained more and more attention locally and internationally for its rocketing house prices and rapid gentrification.

The eight-episode series was developed by Vice writer Julian Morgans and developed with Eureka Productions, which also made the US series “Dating Around” for Netflix.

Co-CEO of Eureka Productions Chris Culvenor said Byron Bay was “one of the world’s most perfect playgrounds” to stage a reality show, adding “Byron Baes has all the binge-worthy ingredients.”

The show will also be executive produced by the producer of “Married at First Sight Australia” and “The Real Housewives of Sydney” Emma Lamb.

Netflix establishes original content in Australia

Netflix, which launched in Australia in 2015, commands Australia’s largest streaming audience, with around 11.9 million subscribers and 57% market share.

The streaming behemoth has been expanding its reach with a strategy focused on local markets, including Australia.

In June 2020 Netflix Australia brought on Que Minh Luu as its local director of content with a view to develop diverse Australian content with appeal for both international and local audiences.

Netflix is currently filming several original projects in Australia, including “Pieces of Her”, starring Toni Collette, “Clickbait”, co-created by Australian director Tony Ayres, and “Escape From Spiderhead”, starring Chris Hemsworth.

And while the streaming platform rolled out a roster of original Australian content in 2020, including comedy specials “Nanette” and “Douglas” from Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby, this is its first foray into local reality content.

Amazon’s streaming service Prime Video has also invested in Australian content, announcing it would reboot popular Australian sitcom “Packed to the Rafters”, and hinting it was exploring other original local projects.

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