Digital Media

Cheaper streaming and a low-cost box: Foxtel targets more than pay TV

The Netflix honeymoon is over and Foxtel has regrouped, announcing a price cut for Foxtel Play and a new low cost set-top "puck" that will deliver more than just Foxtel.

Foxtel wants to be the home of entertainment in more places inside your home.

Foxtel

Subscription TV is Foxtel's bread and butter, but the pay TV provider wants you to start thinking of Foxtel more when it comes to streaming content.

With that in mind, the company is overhauling pricing for its IPTV service, Foxtel Play, to compete with the stream providers on price. It's also announced a low cost set-top "puck" to help stream more content into more Australian homes and the launch of NBN plans to deliver that content. And importantly, your new Foxtel box won't just deliver Foxtel.

While Foxtel currently offers traditional cable and satellite pay TV, the company has also moved more towards IPTV (content delivered over an internet connection) in recent years. Presto, its subscription video on demand service, competes against the likes of Netflix and Stan, while Foxtel Play offers a mixture of live TV and catch-up content delivered entirely via broadband, rather than traditional cable or satellite.

But with analysts predicting the number of households paying for subscription video on demand (SVOD) services will double in Australia over the next three years, Foxtel wants a bigger slice of the streaming pie.

The company today announced it would restructure pricing for Foxtel Play, bringing entry-level prices down to compete with the likes of Netflix and Stan. Exact prices will be confirmed later this year, in time for the December launch of the revamped service.

Foxtel Play will also offer five entry-level packages that target different interests such as drama, docos and kids.

The company also wants to own how customers watch. Enter, the Foxtel puck.

The "low cost" device will be specifically targeted at delivering IPTV content, with Foxtel promising "a tremendous user interface with sophisticated search and recommendation functionality." The company also plans to launch new, larger format set-top boxes in line with the puck.

Foxtel says it intends to make the new puck and set top boxes "open platforms" and it will "welcome SVOD, music streaming and free to air catch up services among others onto our devices."

The change will see Foxtel going head-to-head with devices like Fetch TV, which offers a combination of subscription content and SVOD apps, as well as the app-focused Telstra TV (Foxtel is part-owned by Telstra).

Finally, the company has confirmed it will launch a service over the NBN as of next month, offering Foxtel customers unlimited broadband and standard and national calls AU$85 on top of their monthly bill (or AU$75 for Foxtel Platinum customers).

Hey presto! Foxtel is on its way to becoming more than just Presto, and more than pay TV.