Hey! Presto Cuts Price In Half
With Netflix still not officially in Australia despite hundreds of thousands of Aussies using VPN services to access the US Netflix service, Foxtel has tried to capture as much of the market as possible with its Presto video-on-demand and rental service.
The price drop to $9.99 seems a further defensive move against Netflix’s local 2015 arrival and to get more paying customers for the service, as is the “no lock-in contract” that lets you dip-in and dip-out on a month-to-month basis.
Promoting Presto as a “digital force to be reckoned with” and titling itself “Australia’s premier entertainment streaming service”, which is a title you’d imagine Foxtel Play deserves more, the new “all-you-can-eat flat rate” pricing goes live from Sunday August 17.
Existing Presto subscribers will get one month’s free service to make up the difference and reward ongoing loyalty.
Presto says it “offers the most blockbuster hits at the best available value”, and pumps up its accessibility via the $49 Google Chromecast HDMI dongle for flat-screen TVs.
Shaun James, Director Presto & VOD, said, “We’ve established our new pricing to provide a simple flat rate for customers and today we’re thrilled to bring Presto to eager movie lovers at our new $9.99 per month subscription price with no lock-in contract.
“With Presto’s vast offering of recent blockbusters and classic films, we have delivered one of the best value-for-money movie subscription streaming services anywhere. What’s more, with Presto’s recent launch on Chromecast, subscribers can now enjoy Presto movies on living room big screens.”
Presto’s movie content is regularly updated, with August movies on offer including Captain Phillips, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Pacific Rim and We’re the Millers.
Movie titles to come over the next few months include Blue Jasmine, Thor: The Dark World, Delivery Man, The Fifth Estate, Man of Steel, Despicable Me 2 and The Hangover Part 3.
Like Foxtel when it first started, Presto says its movies are “ad-break-free”, and we can only hope they stay that way for as long as possible before the seemingly inevitable realities of the market force Foxtel to prime Presto with pesky in-program promotions, as happened with regular pay TV.
The service also offers access to “Presto Rental pay-per-view titles” which cost extra over the $9.99 per month pricing. .
Connecting to Presto in minutes is easy, requires no VPNs as with unofficial Netflix access, and thanks to the no lock-in contract, customers can come and go from the service on a monthly basis – without the need to buy through a basic tier.
Perhaps Foxtel will one day realise this same model would work wonders for Foxtel pay TV subscriptions too, although presumably with an initial financial hit as people finally rid themselves of all the channels they don’t watch or want.
That said, it’s well known that selling bundles of channels delivers higher “average revenue per user”, which helps to fund less popular channels that keep some people happy but not enough to otherwise keep those channels on.
As you’d expect from an online video-on-demand service, we’re promised an “intuitive customer interface” and access to “the best in local and international movies including curated collections, recommendations and critics’ reviews.”
Presto works on PCs, Macs, iOS tablets, Android tablets and Google’s Chromecast.
Content is available from “all the major studios and key independents including MGM, NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures, Roadshow Films, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Entertainment One Films Australia, ICON, Studiocanal and Transmission Films.”
A broadband Internet connection with minimum speeds of 3Mbps is required to view Presto, with video quality set to vary according to the type of wired or wireless broadband connection you’re using.
Finally, there’s still no word on when Presto will introduce one of Netflix’s other strengths: access to TV series. For now that remains a Foxtel exclusive, but perhaps once Netflix’s pending arrival gets much closer, Presto will magically make TV shows a part of the service, too.
As with all things on TV, it’s a watch-this-space situation!