Most people who have subscribed to Presto TV since its January 18 launch have opted to bundle the streaming service with Presto Movies.
At the same time some existing Presto Movies subscribers have upgraded to take both, which costs $14.99 per month versus $9.99 individually.
“We have seen good growth since Presto TV’s launch,” Shaun James, Director of Presto and On Demand, tells IF. “The majority of new customers are taking both services.”
SVOD rival Stan, co-owned by Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media, has created a lot of media noise by screening all seven episodes of Gallipoli and trumpeting exclusive streaming rights to Better Call Saul (which is also available on ExyFlix.tv, iTunes and Google Play) and Transparent.
Conversely Presto TV has relied primarily on content sourced from Foxtel and joint-venture partner Seven West Media, plus HBO shows The Sopranos, Entourage, The Wire, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, Girls and Veep, and having the first streaming window on current CBS series including Nurse Jackie and Ray Donovan.
James says, “We have always said we will have a regular infusion of new content. We are close to announcing two further acquisition deals.”
Both Stan and Presto TV have flagged their intention to commission local content, but as yet no details. James says two projects are on the drawing board and he hopes the first will be in production before the end of the year.
James is aware of the naysayers who doubt the Australian market is big enough to sustain three major SVOD platforms in Stan, Netflix (which launches in late March) and the Presto services in addition to smaller players like Quickflix and Dendy Direct.
“We have committed to a long term partnership with Seven,” he says. “It's a highly competitive market. We always thought there would be winners and losers and we intend to be one of the winners.
’’In international markets such as Canada, Germany and the Nordics we have seen new services being able to build scale very quickly.”
Research among Foxtel subscribers and non-subscribers points to the need for further consumer education campaigns because some don't know how streaming services work and which devices can be connected.
He acknowledges there is a drawback in being able to watch streaming services primarily on PCs and mobile devices and he foreshadows plans to make the Presto channels available on smart TVs and gaming consoles. On average, about 20% of Presto viewing is on smart TVs via Google Chromecast.
Among the most viewed titles on Presto Movies last week were Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Ender's Game and The Trip to Italy while on Presto TV Ray Donovan, Girls and Wentworth are popular.
Foxtel and Seven are awaiting the ACCC’s approval of their Presto TV co-venture.