Video streaming services such as Netflix, Stan and Presto have been steadily changing the way Australians watch TV shows and movies. It’s a hotly contested space, especially with Netflix being legally available to Australians over the past year.
However it seems that the Australian market doesn’t have quite enough room for Presto, a video streaming service jointly owned by Foxtel and Seven West Media to continue.
In a statement issued today, Foxtel will buy out Seven’s share of Presto, and close the service on 31 Jan 2017. Presto’s existing subscribers will be migrated to Foxtel’s own video subscription service, Foxtel Play.
For Presto subscribers, the move isn’t necessarily a bad one, as Seven will provide content to Foxtel Play; Tim Worner, CEO and Managing Director, Seven West Media, said: “We look forward to continuing to work closely with Foxtel, in particular in the creation of new programming content.”
Also, Presto and Foxtel Play subscribers will have exclusive Australian access to two new Home and Away specials to be released this summer.
Today Foxtel also announced a revamp of its Foxtel Play streaming service, which will roll out from December 2016. This will consist of new, low entry prices and flexible packages so consumers can have cheaper access to Foxtel’s premium content, without the need to sign up to a fixed term contract.
This is an important step, considering that Foxtel’s subscription cable TV service is under increasing pressure from people’s desire to use video streaming services. Foxtel CEO Peter Tonagh said: [blockquote type=”default” style=”2″]Foxtel Play will be a simpler, cheaper and more flexible IP delivered product, which will create much better value for Australian consumers. It is the logical step for us to take in the evolution of Foxtel’s service. The new offering will mirror the successful launch of HBO Now in the US and Now TV by Sky in the UK.[/blockquote]
According to Foxtel, the new service will have five different entry level tiers to match viewers’ interests including Drama and Entertainment packs priced at $15 per month each or $25 for both, while at the $10 per month level, there will be one option for Lifestyle, one for Documentary and one for Kids.
Customers will be able to take the Sports tier for an extra $25 per month and the Movies tier for an additional $20 per month, effectively reducing the cost of Sport to as little as $35 per month.
Subscribers will have access to all linear channels in the tier along with all of the on-demand, catch up and library content available to that tier plus mobile and tablet access via Foxtel Go.
From December, existing Foxtel Play customers will be transferred to the new pricing, with the package that best aligns with their current service.