Until this year the digital and streaming space has been dominated largely by companies including Fetch TV and some free-to-air playback platforms as well as pay TV
itself, with scores of online content and streamable shows and films available at the click of a button.
Now new players are jumping into the mix in the form of Stan – a joint venture from Fairfax and the Nine Network, the American-owned Netflix and another joint venture named Presto – this time from Foxtel and Seven West Media.
The CEO of Access Digital Entertainment Craig White has stated that “the consumer is going to win” because of the wide range of content that’ll be available, and these three new players should ensure that the battle is a fierce one.
“We’ve got three services launching TV offerings or combined offerings.” says the director of Presto and Foxtel’s other video-on-demand services, Shaun James. He expects the first quarter of this year to be “extremely competitive”.
A price point which seems to have been set by US key players Hulu Plus and Netflix of around US$10/month is likely to be adhered to, with Stan confirming their pricing already of $10/month.
Exclusive programs for that network have already been announced including the record-breaking Transparent, Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul and new series Mozart in the Jungle.
Craig White of EzyFlix.tv has had a year’s head start in comparison to the new players, and has noted that the competition against existing players could see them kill each other before even getting off the ground.
“I don’t think that four services can sustain themselves offering an all-you-can-eat $10 a month service,” he comments. “There won’t be enough exclusive content that consumers will participate in all four and I think that he with the biggest library will win.”
With only two major video-on-demand services even in America, it’s going to be a competition like never before, but one thing’s for certain. The Australian on-demand streaming service is going to look a hell of a lot different in 12 months time.
Confused? Look no further.
Here’s our what’s what of television services
Stan has recently launched an advertisement campaign featuring Rebel Wilson, and is a subscription streaming video on demand service costing $10/month. Exclusive content such as Better Call Saul and Transparent will feature as well as other library titles. No confirmed date has been given, but it’s expected to launch in 2015’s first quarter.
Perhaps the world’s most famous streaming service, this American-based company are finally making Australia a new territory which can access its library, including some Netflix originals such as Marco Polo and House of Cards. Netflix is rumoured to launch March 31, but no date has been confirmed other than the first quarter of 2015.
Linear channels and streaming video on demand come from this subscription cable and settlite service, featuring almost 100 channels and owning the benchmark-setting DVR, the Foxtel iQ. The service launched all the way back in 1995, and a new iQ3 set top box is to be launched this coming February.
This service is the first on our list to be a pay as you go (transactional) video on demand service, with great titles available either for rent or sale. Television programs and arthouse films are included, and it launched over a year ago, back in 2013.
Another subscription streaming video on demand service, Quickflix also has the option for consumers to rent DVD and Blu-Ray titles, delivered monthly via post for a flat rate fee. It launched in 2003.
Our second pay as you go (transactional) featured video on demand service is Apple’s iTunes, which features new release Hollywood movies, television shows and library titles. Back in 2001 was when it first launched.
This subscription IPTV delivered linear channels and streaming video on demand service features over 30 channels which include Disney, SyFy, Nickelodeon and ESPN. Launched in 2010.
Launching later this year in the first quarter of 2015, Presto is a subscription streaming video on demand service which will sell Presto Movies and Presto Entertainment (television) either separately or bundled.
Another pay as you go (transactional) video on demand service, Google Play features – not unlike iTunes – television programmes, new Hollywood films and library titles. It launched first as Android Market back in 2008.
Our final member on the list is a different pay as you go (transactional) video on demand service, which supports standard, Digital HD and Ultraviolet formats. New release Hollywood movies, library titles and TV programs are all included in this 2013-launched service.