Aiming to enhance the selection of online streaming services in Australia for movies, pay-tv provider Foxtel have revealed their new service ‘Presto‘, a streaming platform that will provide ‘extensive video-on-demand content’ to online subscribers.
Adding to the more brand-focused ‘Foxtel Play’ platform released in July, the service will launch as what many believe to be something that can steal a march on the proposed Seven/Nine combined network service and a rumoured ‘Netflix Australia’, Presto’s initial competition will come from existing operators Quickflix and Fetch TV.
However, when that will be remains a mystery, after Foxtel also announced that Presto’s launch date will be ‘later this year’, initially desktop-only (with plans to expand to tablets and smartphones) at the price of a AU$24.99/month ‘no lock-in’ pass, albeit with additional cost for pay-per-view titles.
Richard Freudenstein, the head of Foxtel, claimed that the platform, separate from Foxtel Play, will serve as their way to provide movie content via a range of content (pulled from productions featured on Foxtel’s 7-strong ‘Movie’ brand of channels (Premiere, Action & Adventure, Comedy, Drama & Romance, Family, Thriller & Crime, and Masterpiece)) to ever-more anticipant potential subscribers.
Freudenstein stated: “Our strategy is very much about creating a range of different products at different price points. The core Foxtel cable and satellite service is always going to be our premium service. But we recognise that as internet delivery becomes more popular we need to be part of that as well. Foxtel Play is a cutdown version of Foxtel, smaller packages at cheaper prices. But we also recognise there’s another segment who particularly like movies and so we can expand our customer base. It’s certainly more like a Netflix-type service, but different: a subscription service providing a lot of on-demand content. We’ve done a lot of research on our existing subscribers and (it) shows this won’t particularly cannibalise our existing services. It’s a very different service. It appeals to a very specific segment of movie lovers that don’t want any other channels.”
Whether that singular vision and focused effort will work or not remains to be seen, so will the offering from Foxtel Presto (when it is eventually released) through their high-profile content become Australia’s most successful streaming platform?