Ezyflix becomes first victim of streaming wars

EzyAfter a little over two years operating in the Australian market streaming player Ezyflix has closed its doors.

Ezyflix launched in 2013, well ahead of better funded rivals Netflix, Presto and Stan but struggled to gain traction and market share for its parent company Access Digital Entertainment.

“Thank you for having been a part of EzyFlix. Access Digital Entertainment has decided to end the service offered on this site. If you have rented or purchased any movies or TV shows, these movies are no longer available on EzyFlix,” the company said in a statement on its website, before giving those who bought digital ultraviolet rights the addresses of other sites that would allow them to access their titles online.

Ezyflix, which was the sister to DVD rental company EzyDVD, launched ahead of the broader video streaming wars with the company trumpeting its purchase to own model.

“We’ll have a pure on-demand pay-per-view model − no subscription, no set top box, no tie-in, no lock-in − and we’ll have a download-to-own model as well. We’re covering the best of both worlds there,” Craig White CEO of Access Entertainment said at the time of its April 2013 launch.

QuickflixThe company is not the only local streaming player to hit troubled waters this year with Quickflix closing on the ASX yesterday with a record low share price of $0.001, giving it a market just capitalisation of $2.2m.

Earlier this month, the struggling streaming player told the ASX that it has been forced to abort its deal to become a reseller of rival Presto’s service and instead chosen to sign a deal with an unnamed Shanghai-based film and television company.

The company announced the deal as an “acquisition” although market speculation has suggested the deal may be a reverse takeover with the newly purchased company taking control of the streaming infrastructure and also potentially getting hold of very generous tax losses, thought to be over $30m in the last three years, to carry forward.

In its last quarterly update Quickflix noted that it had suffered a fall in subscribers and was reporting losses $1.096m last quarter with $913,000 in cash on hand.

Rival streaming service Stan is poised to pick up the pieces should Quickflix collapse thank to a a strategic stake in the company entitling it to a $10.5m payment in the event of “a disposal of substantially all of the Company’s assets, a merger or takeover, a person other than the shareholder acquiring a voting power of more than 51 per cent in the company.”

Speculation has been rife Stan’s warrants may be bought and Quickflix turned into niche player aimed at an Asian language audience.

Nic Christensen 

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