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Quickflix sees big growth in streaming over disc rental

Last December saw more Quickflix customers with access to video-on-demand streaming than physical DVD rental for the first time in the company's history.

Quickflix' quarterly report for the end of 2014 shows that over 69 percent of paying Quickflix customers now have access to its streaming service, compared to 64 percent using the physical disc rental service.

One of Australia's first video streaming services, Quickflix offers customers the choice of disc rental with DVD or Blu-ray sent out via post; movie and TV streaming; or a combination of the two. While Quickflix say it remains firmly committed to its physical disc service, this is the first time that streaming access has overtaken the rental service.

The volume of content streamed by Quickflix also increased, with a rise of 16.7 percent for the quarter and a total increase of over 70 percent for the whole of 2014. Over half a million devices are now registered on the Quickflix service, up from 290,000 in 2013. While the biggest single group remains PC and Mac, there was significant growth in both gaming consoles and mobile devices.

Although there was a slight dip in paying subscribers for December, the total number of customers was up 6.1 percent to 136,670 and Quickflix anticipates a high conversion rate of trial accounts to paying subscribers. A Quickflix spokesperson noted that January had seen an increase already, with over 120,000 people now subscribing.

Quickflix now finds itself in an increasingly crowded market, with both Presto and Stan offering similar TV and movie video-on-demand services and the US-behemoth Netflix due in March.

Quickflix obviously hopes to leverage its strengths: An established catalogue of content, including HBO's "Game of Thrones"; a strong showing in terms of device compatibility for native apps; streaming in both SD and HD for certain titles; and a premium pay-per-view option for some content.

With some pundits suggesting that there may only be room for two players in the local market, 2015 will prove to be a very competitive year for the Australian streaming video landscape.