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Presto offers free 30-day trial as streaming market heats up

With Netflix launching in Australia this month, Presto is upping the ante by offering a 30-day trial for new customers as well as a raft of new HBO TV series and movies.

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Presto

As competition between local streaming services heats up, Presto Entertainment has offered up a free 30-day trial of its streaming service. Under the trial, users will be able to access both Presto's movie and TV bundles, forgoing the usual AU$14.99 monthly cost.

Once the trial is over, customers can continue paying for the combined movie and TV package on a month-by-month basis, downgrade to the individual movie or TV bundles, each available for AU$9.99 per month, or discontinue the service entirely.

The deal is a decisive move by Presto's parent company Foxtel to attempt to win more subscribers for its streaming service, and sees the pay TV provider matching the 30-day trial offered by Stan since its launch on Australia Day.

It also comes as a pre-emptive strike against Netflix, which is set to launch this month. Since announcing its impending arrival in Australia late last year, Netflix has been on a marketing drive to win over Australian consumers, announcing a raft of content for local audiences including Australian-made TV titles as well as major international titles and Netflix original series.

Presto has also improved its content offering, using the free trial announcement to confirm that it will be streaming a number of HBO TV series and movies.

These include the full series of historical drama "Rome" and quirkier TV titles "Hung" and "Big Love," as well as film titles including "Grey Gardens," "Temple Grandin," the Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen double-bill "Hemingway & Gellhorn" and Sarah Palin biopic "Game Change."

The streaming market has been changing rapidly ahead of Netflix's local launch. This month, Presto announced new apps for Android and iOS users, matching the apps that have been available for Stan since launch, Quickflix moved into bricks-and-mortar retail stores to sell pre-paid gift cards for its service, and all three companies have been busy shoring up content deals to win over customers.

Foxtel has also just gained regulatory approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for its joint venture with Seven West Media, Presto TV. Both parties hold a 50 percent stake in the joint venture, which was officially launched in January.