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EzyFlix goes dark as streaming battle claims its first casualty

Australia's battle of the streaming services is heating up, with EzyFlix.tv announcing that it has shut down and that customers will no longer be able to access rented or purchased titles.

EzyFlix.tv has all but fallen into oblivion with news that it is shutting up shop. Screenshot by Nic Healey/CNET

Australia's increasingly competitive streaming space has claimed its first scalp with EzyFlix.tv announcing it has shut down, cutting off access to content on its platform just two years after it launched.

The decision was made by EzyFlix owner Access Digital Entertainment, which owns a number of other registered business names including "wowhd.tv" and "EZYKIDZ.tv," and means that movies or TV shows that were purchased or rented by the service's members are "no longer available on EzyFlix."

EzyFlix had all but disappeared from the streaming scene in recent months, staying quiet as rival services jostled for dominance in an increasingly crowded marketplace. The arrival of Netflix in March brought significant attention to content streaming services, growing the size of the Australian audience, and pushing rivals such as Stan, Foxtel and the Foxtel-owned Presto to improve their offering to snag consumer spend.

But EzyFlix has not been alone in its struggle to find an audience. Australian challenger QuickFlix has also laboured to maintain a foothold the market, battling an ever-dwindling bottom line, increased competition from Netflix and recently announcing a surprise deal to acquire an unnamed Shanghai-based media company.

Now, EzyFlix appears to have succumbed to the pressure, announcing in a statement on its website that it has shut up shop.

"Thank you for having been a part of EzyFlix," the message from 'The EzyFlix Team' read. "Access Digital Entertainment has decided to end the service offered on this site. If you have rented or purchased any movies or TV shows, these movies are no longer available on EzyFlix.

"If you have purchased or redeemed an UltraViolet title through EzyFlix these may be accessed through several other digital movie services."

It is unclear where this leaves existing customers who have purchased titles through the service to own.

Launched in August 2013, EzyFlix was a contract-free service that allowed users to access just the TV and movie titles they wanted, rather than paying a subscription fee for all-you-can-eat monthly access.

The EzyFlix site offered the opportunity to rent titles under a Video on Demand set up, but also allowed users to "download to own" and watch offline. While the site's terms and conditions do not include details about the life of content ownership, many EzyFlix users will no doubt be asking questions about their digital content library and how a catalogue of titles can no longer be available.

Concerned customers are being advised to contact the EzyFlix team on help@ezyflix.tv.

Requests for comment from both EzyFlix.tv and owner Access Digital Entertainment have gone unanswered.