The Aussie video streaming market looks like it’s going to get a lot more crowded, with Foxtel beta-testing a new streaming service.
With a working title of ‘Binge’, this drama and entertainment streaming platform will be ready to launch on 25 May, 2020 — and it’s really not a moment too soon for the struggling media company. While there was plenty of speculation and rumours floating around about this streaming service, Foxtel have finally confirmed some details before its launch.
“We have been beta-testing the service for a few weeks and we are sure Australians will love everything about it. It brings an exciting new brand to younger streaming audiences with a very different and compelling product experience, and a distinctly curated mix of the best drama and movies from the world’s best entertainment brands.” says Foxtel Group Chief Executive Officer Patrick Delany.
Foxtel has been suffering from dropping subscriber numbers for a while, with Australia’s media landscape changing so much in the past 10 years. Add in the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on live sport as well as the tightening of household budgets, and Foxtel has suffered from a loss of subscribers and advertising revenue. The ACCC’s COVID-19 taskforce even had to step in, after fielding complaints from consumers unable to reach Foxtel to change or cancel their subscription. This resulted in Foxtel assuring the ACCC that it had increased its call centre capacity to cope with the increased volume of customer calls.
Pandemic or not, Foxtel has been struggling to keep subscribers for a while. Since streaming services like Netflix, Stan and Disney+ launched in the Australian market, the traditional Pay TV format hasn’t been able to keep up with the changing consumer demands. Customers cannot justify paying $100+ per month for a range of channels and content that can only be viewed live like traditional TV, when they could pay around $10 per month for a huge content library that can be viewed on demand. Waiting around for an 8pm screening of your favourite show each week has really lost its appeal to many Aussies.
What can you watch on Foxtel’s new streaming service?
Details on this are currently unconfirmed, however it’s very likely that this new streaming platform will host the content that HBO Max will be offering. As we recently covered at Canstar Blue, Foxtel and HBO’s parent company, Warner Media, have reached an agreement, cementing Foxtel as the continuing home of HBO content, including a huge library of successful shows such as Game of Thrones and Big Little Lies.
HBO Max is set to launch in the US with plenty of original programming in the mix, including the postponed but much anticipated Friends reunion special. It seems likely that this new ‘Binge’ streaming platform will act as Australia’s version of HBO Max, along with the other Warner Media assets Foxtel now has the rights to.
Sign up to BINGE
If BINGE’s huge library of quality shows and movies sounds like the perfect streaming service for you, there are three plans to choose from, with different inclusions on each plan tier. Prices start at $10 per month for a basic package and go up to $18 per month. Check out the plan inclusions in the below table. This table includes links to a referral partner.
|Brand||Subscription Type||No. of Screens/same time viewing||Advertised Cost^^/month or year|
min. cost $10 over one month
||Go To Site|
min. cost $14 over one month
||Go To Site|
min. cost $18 over one month
||Go To Site|
|^^View important information|
What will happen to Foxtel Now?
Foxtel Now is Foxtel’s answer to Netflix and the rest, essentially a streaming on-demand version of its Pay TV channels. However, pricing for Foxtel Now has long been a sore point for many, with its $25 per month base price (and up to $104 per month for all available packs). In comparison, if you were to sign up to the basic Netflix and Stan subscriptions, as well as Disney+, you’d be paying just under $30 per month for all three subscription services.
As to whether this new streaming service will replace Foxtel Now remains to be seen, but if Foxtel moves its more popular assets from HBO to this new streaming platform, existing Foxtel Now subscribers might just be tempted to make a switch.