Fetch TV boss predicts tens of millions will be spent on marketing in streaming war



The boss of IPTV platform Fetch TV has predicted tens of millions of dollars will be spent by the telcos and streaming players Netflix, Stan and Presto, in the coming months, in a land grab for marketshare and consumer eyeballs.

On the day the Australian version of Netflix launched, Fetch TV CEO Scott Lorson whose over the top (OTT) platform last month signed a major deal to bring the US streaming giant into their service, said Fetch along with telco players would be launching a major marketing blitz today focusing on Netflix.

“From today consumers will see activity from FetchTV and from our partner ISP Optus and iiNet promoting the Netflix service,” Lorson told Mumbrella. “The total aggregated spend will be in the tens of millions.”

Separately the boss of Netflix rival Stan, Mike Sneesby, signalled its recent deal with telco Vodafone would not prevent it from entering into agreements with the likes of Optus, iiNet or with FetchTV itself.

“The partnership with Vodafone, which we haven’t revealed all the details to the market yet, we are really confident in the strength of that partnership both for us and them,” said Mike Sneesby, CEO of Stan.

“However, it certainly doesn’t prevent us from working with other ISPs. I don’t have anything specific to announce on that front we are not isolated or prevented from further deals in the ISPs space.”

When challenged on whether that meant if he was talking to Optus, iiNet or Fetch TV Sneesby said only: “I have nothing to announce at this stage.”

Fetch TV today declined to comment on Sneesby’s comments, but has previously said it is open to Stan joining the platform. 



The Stan boss also tried to downplay suggestions of a marketing war arguing: “I genuinely don’t see this as a marketing war.

“I see that the biggest challenge we have ahead of us, we as a streaming industry is to get the message out there to consumers and to grow the take up in the market.

“Our research tells us we have 1.5m households today as a minimum who are the pent up demand group for streaming services. This is really about how quickly can we grow the market to those 1.5m households.”

Both IPTV bosses were today coy on their precise subscriber numbers, but said they were seeing strong growth in consumer subscriptions, amid a flurry of headlines about streaming and growing consumer awareness of the segment.

“What I can say is that we will achieve three consecutive month’s of record growth and are expecting to achieve a fourth consecutive month in April,” said Lorson.

“We believe we are fastest growing subscription platform in Australia and we will be soon celebrating our 200,000 subscriber.”

While the Stan boss said:  “We passed the 100,000 mark before the six week mark and are confident Netflix will see a hugely successful launch.”

Sneesby also challenged media reports suggesting it will be a winner takes all market, arguing consumer may well take up more than one SVOD service.

“This is not a winner takes all market – like a telco where you get one mobile phone – this is a market where people will hop around, do trials, choose their favourite etc,” said Sneesby.

“There is a consensus in the media that the SVOD services will align with independent and individual ISPs. I think you will see a much more open market than that.”

“You will see offers across multiple ISPs and multiple SVOD services.”

Netflix declined to comment on its marketing strategy while Presto did not respond to requests for comment.

Nic Christensen

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