Australian pay-TV operator Foxtel’s OTT movie streaming service Presto, announced in September and originally scheduled for launch by the end of 2013, has been further delayed by technical issues, and instead of launching in the coming week, is now only likely to go live in the next couple of months.
“This is a complicated platform to put together and there have been a few technical issues,” a Foxtel spokesman told the Australian Financial Review. “We’re double checking everything to make sure it’s completely working before we launch it. We’re aiming to launch it in the next couple of months but we haven’t got a specific date at this stage.”
The service is seen as a strategic move to combat a potential move into the Australian market by Netflix, as well as to compete with Quickflix, which has been growing its subscriber base.
When Presto was announced, Foxtel Chief Executive Richard Freudenstein said the operator recognised that there was another segment of consumers who particularly like movies, which would enable Foxtel to expand its customer base. “It’s certainly more like a Netflix-type service, but different: a subscription service providing a lot of on-demand content.”
According to Freudenstein, Australians are hungry for different ways to experience great entertainment when they want and how they want. “The launch of Presto as a second brand allows us to meet the needs of different customer segments more effectively and is another way Foxtel is continuing to make its content more accessible.”
Presto will launch initially for PC and Mac computers and will be available on compatible iOS and Android tablets to Presto subscribers shortly after. It will be available to all Australians with a suitable Internet connection. Movie lovers will be able to connect in minutes and will be free to come and go from the service on a monthly basis, with no lock-in contract.