Goodbye Presto: Foxtel's streaming service to shut down

The TV and movie streaming service will close two years after it first came onto the scene as Foxtel promotes its revamped IPTV offering, Foxtel Play.

Claire Reilly Former Principal Video Producer
Claire Reilly was a video host, journalist and producer covering all things space, futurism, science and culture. Whether she's covering breaking news, explaining complex science topics or exploring the weirder sides of tech culture, Claire gets to the heart of why technology matters to everyone. She's been a regular commentator on broadcast news, and in her spare time, she's a cabaret enthusiast, Simpsons aficionado and closet country music lover. She originally hails from Sydney but now calls San Francisco home.
Expertise Space, Futurism, Science and Sci-Tech, Robotics, Tech Culture Credentials
  • Webby Award Winner (Best Video Host, 2021), Webby Nominee (Podcasts, 2021), Gold Telly (Documentary Series, 2021), Silver Telly (Video Writing, 2021), W3 Award (Best Host, 2020), Australian IT Journalism Awards (Best Journalist, Best News Journalist 2017)
Claire Reilly
2 min read

Less than two years after the Australian launch of Netflix, the streaming industry has claimed its first scalp, with Foxtel and Seven West Media announcing the closure of Presto.

The service will stop streaming on January 31, 2017.

Foxtel launched the subscription video on demand (SVOD) service in March 2014 offering unlimited movies for a monthly fee. In December of that year, Foxtel announced a joint venture with Seven West Media to bring TV shows to the platform, and in January 2015, Presto's all-you-can-eat TV and movies service was launched.

Presto's parents were an unlikely pairing. Pay TV giant Foxtel joined forces with a partner from the world of free to air, Seven West Media, to play in a space that had hitherto been dominated by pay-per-view players such as Quickflix and EzyFlix.

But the world has changed since Presto came onto the scene. Quickflix and Ezyflix have long since collapsed. Global behemoth Netflix came on the scene in March 2015, bringing deep pockets and a raft of exclusive content and its famed originals, such as "House of Cards" and "Marco Polo."

For its part, Presto's local rival Stan set itself apart from Netflix by focusing on Australian content, commissioning home-grown series such as the comedy "No Activity" and the tent-pole horror series "Wolf Creek."

Now, not even two years after Presto first launched, it's owners have pulled the pin. And alongside niche streaming services such as Dendy Direct and reality TV-focused Hayu, Stan and Netflix are all that's left.

In financial terms, Foxtel will pay to acquire Seven's stake in the joint venture. Foxtel also says it will continue to serve streaming customers, spruiking access to its revamped IPTV service, Foxtel Play, which is re-launching in December this year.

Foxtel CEO Peter Tonagh says Play will be priced to be competitive against streaming services, but IPTV, with its mix of live and catch-up TV, is a different beast to streaming. The new service will include a tiered pricing structure and content streams broken down by genres such as kids and documentaries, starting at AU$10 per month -- but the full complement of catch-up and live TV goes as high as AU$100 for all channels (plus extra for English football channels).

Check out all the details of Foxtel Play's new pricing here.