The arrival of American streaming giant Netflix in Australia means that the new kids on the block are now stepping up their game when it comes to bundle plans, with some entering advanced talks with telecommunication companies so that they can bundle their video-on-demand services into broadband deals.
It’s understood that Foxtel and Seven West Media’s joint venture Presto Entertainment is close to signing an agreement with Telstra, which would see their SVOD service bundled with Telstra broadband.
Following the launch of Presto earlier this year, a spokesperson for the company said that they were in talks with several different internet service providers (ISPs) and telecommunication companies, with an agreement yet to be signed.
They explained at the time: “Distribution is obviously important for over-the-top services like Presto, and we are in accelerated discussions with a range of potential partners about bundling our services”.
Their rival Stan – a joint venture between Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media – is also in similar discussions, but their chief executive Mike Sneesby declined to comment when asked how close they were to signing their own bundling deal.
Believing such partnerships could help generate a return as well as grow a subscriber base, Sneesby commented: “We have certainly had a whole range of discussions with all of the major telcos and ISPs in the marketplace.
“Around the world you have seen the bundling or the natural coming together of SVOD services with telco services. Having a strong SVOD service with unlimited access to value-for-money content is a very, very strong proposition to keep existing customers loyal and to acquire new customers as a differentiator.
“And certainly without having any deals to announce… when you look at the value that’s delivered to a consumer, the economics of that package and the partnership deal do stack up.”
Currently in the UK, Netflix has a bundle agreement with both Virgin Media and Vodafone, and the company are said to have been weighing up a potential Australian partnership with Optus.
A spokeswoman for Optus said that it “regularly assesses a broad range of partnership opportunities; however we have nothing to report at the moment regarding partnerships with specific streaming service providers.”