In a surprising move, Foxtel has dropped the price of its subscription movie-streaming service – Presto – by roughly half, down to just $9.99 per month. The new price will go live this Sunday, August 17.
It would be interesting to know if this move has been driven by research conducted by Foxtel, suggesting that the additional subscribers would outweigh the drop in subscription cost, or if the continue rumours about Netflix, which charges a similar amount, launching in Australia deserve credit.
Whatever the reason, it’s great for us. The current price of $19.99 per month for Presto access is certainly affordable, but it’s far from attractive. At that price you’d have to watch four new titles a month in order to really make it worth it. That doesn’t sound like much, but a subscription service shouldn’t make you feel like you need to ‘get your money’s worth’ each month; it should just be there, in the background, whenever you need it.
An ongoing $20 commitment for a service that you may or may not end up using doesn’t fall under the ‘just there’ category for a lot of people, whereas a cool tenner is much more in keeping with other brands.
Hooray for Australians
If you’re wondering why you would go with Presto over another service then the answer is simple: the titles are generally newer releases. Of course, there are plenty of classics on there and the list changes each month, but where Netflix and Quickflix tend to focus on older films, Presto is much more timely. Until now you’ve paid a heavy premium for that fact, but no longer.
Foxtel has stated that there are still no plans to bring TV titles to Presto.
Ok, so Netflix is still a strong contender, but you have to jump through a lot of hoops to get it, not all of which are legal. Once you do, it’s still unlikely that you’ll be able to access them on your phone or a tablet. On the other hand, being a totally legal-in-this-region alternative, Presto will work on just about anything. It’s also easier to convince mum and dad to sign up to.
We think this price-drop is a great move by Foxtel. For one, it ensures that Presto will not look it it’s ‘reacting’ when (if) Netflix hits Australian shores. Even if the price change is because of the shadow cast world’s largest streaming service, Foxtel will have established itself as a $10-per-month service long before Netflix becomes a household name Down Under.
Mostly, though, it’s more accessible. We’re still firm believers that accessibility is more than half the battle when it comes to fighting online piracy. It’s not only distribution that matters, you have to have the right price-point, too. Now Foxtel has both.
It’s a happy day for media consumption standards in Australia. It’s not often we get to say that, so we’re going to enjoy it while we can.