Presto is the subscription service from Foxtel that has until now offered movies, but today announced the addition of TV. A Presto TV subscription can be purchased from January 18th, and can be had for A$9.99 per month. If you’re a fan of TV shows and Movies, you can bundle and get both for A$14.99 per month.
So now we know price of Presto, we can talk about how it compares to the competition. The current subscription landscape is complex, the market leader is clearly Netflix, despite not officially launching in Australia in early March. The hundreds of thousands of Aussie subscribers enjoy an impressive selection of content and Presto has to compete. Due to rights deals struck prior to the Aussie Netflix launch, it’s expected the unannounced content list here will be a subset of the US offering. At this point it’s worthwhile highlighting the total cost of a Netflix subscription is US$9.99 per month for up to 2 machines and HD quality, step up to 4K quality and 4 devices and you’ll pay $14.99 to keep the whole future-thinking house happy.
If you’re not currently subscribing to TV and movies, it’ll probably look like a great deal, especially compared to the average monthly cost of Foxtel. Presto TV will deliver a decent, but not overwhelming collection of TV shows from HBO, SHOWTIME, CBS Studios International, Viacom International Media Networks and Hasbro Studios as well as a range of some of the best local content from Foxtel, the Seven Network and ABC Commercial.
Presto TV will feature “complete seasons” of programs which are available to stream and watch instantly on demand. This is ad-free service is what makes binge watching so great, while a show may take some time to become available, once it does, there’s no waiting weeks between episodes. Presto are targeting people of all ages with programming covering key genres including drama, comedy, reality and kids and family.
Presto TV will be the only Australian SVOD service to offer acclaimed HBO programming including full seasons of The Sopranos, The Wire, Sex and the City, Entourage, True Blood, Girls and Boardwalk Empire from HBO as well as Deadwood, distributed by CBS Studios International. None of those jump out at me as must haves, but if there’s a show in there you like, it could be the hook that gets you signed up. Remember there’s no ongoing subscription lock-in, you can pay for a month, then quit.
Subscribers can also watch full seasons of SHOWTIME original series from CBS Studios International including Dexter®, The Borgias, Californication, Nurse Jackie and Ray Donovan with new seasons coming first to Presto TV for the standalone SVOD window. Given Dexter and Californication have run their course, this isn’t as big of a win as it would have been 2-3 years ago, still, like above if you’re a fan, these could be big wins for you.
Presto TV is actually a 50-50 joint venture between Foxtel and Seven West Media, so there’s some local dramas to enjoy. Wentworth, Love My Way and Tangle, Packed to the Rafters, All Saints, Always Greener. as well as full series of a number of Seven’s locally-produced factual, drama, comedy and entertainment programs. There’s also overseas dramas Mr Selfridge, Rosemary and Thyme and A Touch of Frost.
I have no time for back catalogue, we have enough repeats of old shows on free-to-air, but if you’re a fan of Frasier, Cheers and Everybody Loves Raymond, Presto TV will also feature complete comedy series.
Presto TV will also include full seasons of a range of ABC Commercial comedy, drama and kids titles. At this point it feels like the service looked at anything cheap and threw it in the mix, there’s really no stand outs here, well unless you have a 3 year old, but would you add another monthly bill just to keep them happy? Summer Heights High, We Can Be Heroes and Ja’mie: Private School Girl, all starring Chris Lilley, A Moody Christmas, The Librarians and dramas such as Rake, Redfern Now and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Popular children’s series and specials such as Bob the Builder, Thomas the Tank Engine, Angelina Ballerina and the hugely popular pre-school series The Wiggles will also be available. Subscribers can expect to see popular ABC Commercial franchises such as Sesame Street, Postman Pat, Pingu and Fireman Sam being added to the service in coming days.
Kids can go on undersea escapades with the hilarious SpongeBob SquarePants; watch the hijinks of the gang at the Littlest Pet Shop; take an entertaining and educational journey with Arthur; or go on an adventure with the shape-shifting Transformers; the mighty morphing Power Rangers; and the crime fighting Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation. Preschool viewers can join Dora the Explorer as she explores the world in English and Spanish with her friends Boots and Backpack as well as enjoy popular favourites Bubble Guppies and My Little Pony.
If you want to search the catalogue of TV and movie titles on Presto, head over to https://www.presto.com.au/whatispresto and to watch for new releases head to their Facebook (www.facebook.com/presto) and Twitter accounts (@presto).
Presto TV, Presto Movies and the Presto bundle are currently available across PC, MAC, iPads and via Google Chromecast, with selected Android tablets coming soon.
Subscribers can register up to four compatible devices and watch two devices simultaneously. If you have flat mate and split the bill, suddenly the price seems a lot more acceptable. There’s no talk of 4K content coming to the service, so those with brand new TVs in 2015 will have to rely on your upscaler.
Personally the content selection here isn’t interesting enough to justify the price per month. If you’re not already a Netflix subscriber, wait for Mach and take a look at the offering there.
To subscribe or discover more information about Presto TV, Presto Movies or the Presto bundle head over to www.presto.com.au.