It seems Foxtel have discovered Aussies like like cheaper streaming options. Of all the IPTV offerings, Foxtel play has always been the most expensive of the mix, but after dropping from an entry price of $50 to $25 per month, the service will now start at $10pm.
Foxtel today confirmed the new look Foxtel Play streaming service, will have a rethink on prices and offer flexible packages that deliver consumer choice, without the need to sign up to a fixed term contract. The revamped plans will roll out from December this year.
You can see a full list of the new pricing and channel lineup here.
Foxtel CEO Peter Tonagh said,
Foxtel Play will be a simpler, cheaper and more flexible IP delivered product, which will create much better value for our customers. It is the logical step for us to take in the evolution of Foxtel’s service. The new offering will mirror the successful launch of HBO Now in the US and Now TV by Sky in the UK.
Customers who use an IP connection, with their own device and bandwidth will have access to this great new offering. Consumers will be able to sign up by downloading the app to their eligible connected TV, laptop, PC or games console.
On offer from December is 5 entry level tiers that let you select from your interest areas, of course if you have wide and varied interests, then expect to pay more. There’s 2 options for drama available for $15 per month each or $25 for both, while at the $10 per month level, there will be one option for Lifestyle, one for Documentary and one for Kids. In addition, customers will be able to take the Sports tier for an extra $25 per month and the Movies tier for an additional $20 per month, effectively reducing the cost of Sport to as little as $35 per month.
While this isn’t quite per-channel à la carte like we’d really like, but it does make the prospect of pay TV far more accessible and affordable for more Australians. By lowering prices it opens the door for Foxtel to grow its user-base and has a better chance of competing with services like Netflix.
Foxtel subscribers still get all of the on-demand, catch up and library content available to that tier plus mobile and tablet access via Foxtel Go.
From December, existing Foxtel Play customers will be transferred to the new pricing, with the package that best aligns with their current service. Getting the same for less money is always appreciated.
As Bryan Lattin points out, those who want Foxtel Play simply for Sport, still don’t have that option, on a weekend like this one, where the #Bathurst1000 appeals to so many, it’d be great to see people have the ability to turn on an affordable sports package for the month.
Unfortunately what’s not included in today’s announcement is any announcement of an updated Windows app that moves past the outdated and deprecated Silverlight player that doesn’t cope with display changes. There’s also no announcement of increasing the streaming quality of Foxtel Play which means even those with the highest speed NBN connection still can’t get HD streams, while Netflix continues to offer a growing content lineup in 4K.
Mr Tonagh said,
“I am sure that existing and potential customers will be delighted at the flexibility that the new Foxtel Play will offer. For example, Foxtel is the Home of HBO and Showcase will be included in both drama tiers, which means that shows like Game of Thrones will now be available for $15 per month.
I recently announced that from January 2017 we will significantly increase the amount of HBO content that will be available on demand and in full to anyone who subscribes to Showcase. All Foxtel drama tier subscribers will benefit from this great library of programs.”
Foxtel had some other big news today and that was the acquisition of competing service, Presto, from Seven West Media. This means there’s one less player in the Australian market, but realistically the natural market forces at work. It was never really going to be sustainable to have Foxtel, Netflix, Stan, Presto and other smaller providers all fighting it out, 2 or 3 is much more likely to be sustainable much like music streaming services.
If you’re a customer of Presto you’ll be invited to transition to the new Foxtel Play packages from December 2016 and the Presto service will end on January 31st, 2017.