Foxtel and Seven West Media have announced a joint venture that will see the two companies launch a new video on demand service under the Presto brand.
Called Presto Entertainment, the service will have TV programming from Foxtel and Seven West Media -- the owners of the Seven Network which includes Seven, 7TWO and 7mate.
According to a media release, the content will include a "broad range of locally commissioned and internationally acquired content including drama, comedy, factual and entertainment programming". No specific content offerings were detailed however. The most successful local content offerings from Seven are "My Kitchen Rules", "House Rules", 'The X Factor" and "Home and Away".
While the two services will share similar interface designs, Presto Entertainment will sit separately to Presto Movies -- consumers can subscribe to one or the other, although a bundled offering will be available for both.
According to Foxtel, pricing will be revealed "closer to launch", currently slated for "early 2015". Presto Movies is now AU$9.99 a month afterback in August.
A Presto spokesperson said that while the company "wasn't ready to discuss pricing" they anticipated it "wouldn't expect it to be a massive rise from the pricing we're seeing on Presto Movies".
The twin Presto services will sit beside Foxtel's existing Foxtel Play IPTV and on-demand offering, although the spokesperson assured CNET that the services would not be clashing.
"Foxtel Play is different in that it's designed for people who want Foxtel but either can't get it -- maybe due to their residential circumstances -- or they don't want a lock-in contract," the spokesperson said.
"Presto Entertainment is a supplement -- we're not expecting anyone to replace a service with it. We think people will add it to the way they enjoy TV at the moment, either through other subscription or just via free-to-air."
The new year looks to be a busy one for on-demand and streaming services in Australia, with Presto Entertainment being joined by both first quarter of 2015.and, of course, the all within the
Stephen Langsford, CEO of Quickflix, believes that the crowded market will be good for the video-on-demand and streaming space.
"I'm a big believer in this as a fundamental change in viewers' behaviour and for that to happen we need to build awareness," Langsford said. "That's the benefit of big players putting a focus on this -- awareness."
"More broadly it adds to the excitement of what's building around 2015, with more choice for viewers and more competition. It'll keep consumers entertained -- and keep journalists writing about it."
Edited 1:15 p.m.: Added comment from Stephen Langsford