Hey ‘Presto’ – Foxtel launch video-on-demand platform

Fresh from launching a new OTT TV service Foxtel Play in June (a service that promised no lock-in contracts and access across a range of devices) Australian pay-TV operator Foxtel has revealed plans for an over-the-top video-on-demand platform known as “Presto.”

Prospective Presto customers will be able to get hold of a monthly pass for $24.99. Content from all seven Foxtel Movies channels will be available, with the service at first available to only PC and Mac users, with compatible iOS and Android tablets following subsequently

CEO Richard Freudenstein says that Foxtel’s strategy “is very much about creating a range of different products at different price points,” stressing that their premium service will remain a cable and satellite one, while recognising that “as Internet delivery becomes more popular, we need to be part of that as well.” Foxtel Play, Freudenstein adds, is conceived of as a cheaper version of Foxtel, offering smaller and more affordable packages. “It’s certainly more like a Netflix-type service, but different: a subscription service providing a lot of on-demand content,” he explains.

Foxtel is easily the largest pay-TV provider in Australia with more than twice the number of subscribers of its erstwhile rival Austar, reaching 1.66mn by the end of 2011. The company completed its merger with rival Austar in May 2012, and has since busily expanded its reach beyond established cable and satellite platforms to IP-connected devices, delivering premium packages to Samsung’s smart TVs, Telstra’s T-Box and the Xbox 360.

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