Quickflix partners with Sony to launch online rental service
DVD mail-order company Quickflix has launched its first online streaming rental service via Sony’s new range of internet-connected TVs.
The deal will allow customers to stream movies to all Sony BRAVIA internet video (SVIB) connected televisions or televisions connected to SVIB-capable Blu-ray players and home theatres, as well as VAIO computers, later this year. The deal does not yet cover Sony's PlayStation 3.
Quickflix's new chief executive officer, Chris Taylor, said the digital TVswitchover and the launch of internet-enabled devices is increasing demand for digital home entertainment.
“The next step in our mission to reach a million customers in five years is the introduction of our streaming service,” he said in a statement.
“This will give customers the ultimate choice of the largest range of movies in Australia and an amazing selection of instant viewing through streaming combined with DVD and Blu-ray.”
The initial streaming service will offer customers a substantially reduced range compared to the its approximate 50,000 physical titles, although it will expand over time. Taylor is currently in Los Angeles meeting Hollywood studios in an attempt to strike new content deals.
“We’ve had a very positive reaction and we will continue those discussions,” he told IF.
Last month, Quickflix acquired BigPond Movies' DVD library under an agreement which will also see BigPond refer its current customers to the fledgling online DVD company.
“We still have a lot of belief that the physical business is alive and well and we are going to drive that hard,” Taylor said.
The pricing of the service will be revealed later this year. Quickflix’s physical DVD rental plans start from $9.99 per month and top out at $29.99 per month for an unlimited plan.
Earlier this month, Sony launched its Qriocity video-on-demand service in Australia through its SVIB-connected televisions, SVIB-capable Blu-ray players and home theatres. It offers single high-definition movies priced between $5.99 and $6.99 and standard definition priced between $3.99 and $4.99. Sony has launched 22 internet-enabled Bravia TVs into the Australian market.
While the online market is growing rapidly, it is still dwarfed by the size of the physical DVD market. In the year to June 30, 2010, Quickflix sent out 1.9 million DVD and Blu-ray discs to customers.