Foxtel pitches Presto to non-subscribers

23 September, 2013 by Don Groves

Foxtel’s Subscription Video-on-Demand service dubbed Presto marks another step in the platform’s effort to broaden its base to the 70% of Australian homes that do not subscribe to pay-TV.

Due to launch before the end of this year, the service is designed to appeal to movie lovers who are happy to pay $24.99 per month for unlimited viewing of the films screening on Foxtel’s seven movie channels.


The downside is that, like the Foxtel Play package of channels, the films can only be streamed and viewed live on PC and Mac computers initially, and thereafter, on compatible iOS and Android tablets. There is no capacity to pause or record for later viewing.

Those who subscribe to the Presto service will also get access to the Foxtel Box Office suite of on-demand movies, for an additional cost.

“The objective is to appeal to consumers who don’t want or are unwilling to pay for the full Foxtel service and are happy to pay for specific elements on the platform,” a Foxtel spokesman tells IF.

The company has not revealed a precise launch date but says it will be before the end of the year. TV programming is expected to be added to the Presto service, patterned on the Netflix model.

The channels are Foxtel Movies Premiere, Foxtel Movies Comedy, Foxtel Movies Drama/ Romance, Foxtel Movies Thriller/ Crime, Foxtel Movies Action/ Adventure, Foxtel Movies Family, and Foxtel Movies Masterpiece.

Suppliers include all the US studios plus Hopscotch Entertainment One, Icon, Studiocanal and Transmission Films.

Foxtel named Jacqui Feeney as Director, Presto and Foxtel on Demand. She had been Foxtel’s Director Movies Strategy, SVoD and On Demand since mid-2012.

The service will be a formidable competitor to Quickflix, which has about 107,000 subscribers and is seeking to raise up to $5.5 million from shareholders to invest in more premium content and marketing.

Quickflix has invested $45 million in its service and aims to reach cash flow breakeven in fiscal 2014. Quickflix executive chairman Stephen Langsford welcomes Foxtel's entry into the SVoD market, telling IF, "I think competition is good and Foxtel’s moves demonstrate that this space is hotting up and the old paradigms of free to air and pay-TV will need to give way to the new over time. Time will tell whether customers take to the $25 price point— Quickflix entry level is $15 per month but we also see plenty of demand for our $25 option."