Presto slashes monthly fee
Foxtel is slashing the monthly subscription fee for its struggling movies streaming service Presto as a defensive move against the looming launches of Nine Entertainment Co’s StreamCo and Netflix.
The fee drops from $19.99 to $9.99 from this Sunday, matching the price offered by Quickflix. Existing customers will get Presto for free for one month.
The move is a tacit acknowledgement that the take-up for Presto has been very poor since its launch in March and that the fee was widely seen as too costly, particularly as the service was available initially only on PCs and mobile devices.
Now Foxtel aims to capitalise on the introduction of Google Chromecast, which enables consumers to watch internet-streamed services on big screen TVs.
The price cut is likely to be the first in a series of initiatives designed to make Presto more competitive before the launch of StreamCo, which could be as early as November.
StreamCo (branding to be revealed) will stream films and TV content, much of it exclusive, including locally-commissioned productions, for around $9.99 per month.
Foxtel intends to add TV programming to Presto’s offering, probably including HBO shows such as Game of Thrones if it can negotiate deals. It is likely to reconfigure the movies line-up, which at present consists of the seven Foxtel Movies channels, known in the trade as "lift and shift."
Netflix is expected to bow in Australia in the first half of 2015 and its executives have begun negotiations with the US studios to acquire Oz rights.
Shaun James, Director Presto & VOD, said, “We’ve established our new pricing to provide a simple flat rate for customers and today we’re thrilled to bring Presto to eager movie lovers at our new $9.99 per month subscription price with no lock-in contract.
“With Presto’s vast offering of recent blockbusters and classic films, we have delivered one of the best value-for-money movie subscription streaming services anywhere. What’s more, with Presto’s recent launch on Chromecast, subscribers can now enjoy Presto movies on living room big screens.”