Fetch TV seeks to hit 1m subscribers and challenge Telstra TV with launch of Mini device

IPTV platform Fetch TV has signalled it intends to reach the one million subscribers in the next few years on the back of launching its new, lower price-point streaming device the Mini, which is aimed at challenging Telstra’s TV product.

Fetch TV Mini box and remote - croppedScott Lorson, CEO of Fetch TV, which is aligned with major telcos Optus, iiNet and Dodo, told Mumbrella that amid the telco wars and the surge in video streaming the company was seeing a massive spike in uptake.

“We are definitely experiencing ‘hockey stick’ growth,” said Lorson. “We continue to fly past milestones – having passed the 400,000 subscribers mark, and are now on track to hit 600,000 by the end of the year.

“We won’t be satisfied until we reach the one million mark, which we believe is imminently achievable in the medium term.”

Integral to Fetch reaching the one million subscribers milestone will be the Mini, which Fetch will offer for retail at $149 but which many of its telco partners will bundle as part of their internet packages.

Lorson: we are seeing hockey stick growth.

Lorson: “We are about ensuring our partners have an entertainment solution for all the products that they offer”

“The Mini is an interesting device and was originally devised as a multi-room solution,” said Lorson. “We recognise that it has fantastic utility as a stand alone device, as well.

“Because we are focused on telcos and their bundles we need to provide them with different cost structures and different bundles. We are about ensuring our partners have an entertainment solution for all the products that they offer. Hence the expansion in our offering.

The IPTV player also made a series of other announcements at a media briefing last night, including that it had brought Presto, which is half-owned by pay-TV rival Foxtel, into the platform alongside SVOD rivals Netflix and Stan. Other announcements included a new PVR, updated companion app, the launch of Viacom’s Spike channel on Fetch and a expansion of its pay-per-view library.

Fetch TV will also now be sold in JB HiFi stores a move which will dramatically help increase is distribution and sales. Its major rival in the low price-point market has been Telstra TV which launched last year and already has 75,000 subscribers.

“Tonight we are announcing our new PVR (personal video recorder) the Mighty, the Mini, and a revamp of our companion app, which will have download to go and all kinds of features,” said Lorson. “On the distribution side, JB HiFi will join Harvey Norman and we can confirm we have re-signed M2/Dodo in addition to having re-signed Optus.

“We are very excited – M2 is a foundation customer, Optus is a foundation customer and iiNet is a foundation customer. Everyone who has reached the end of the agreement has re-signed, which is a sign of the value we are adding.

“We are also announcing that Presto is joining the platform and that Viacom’s Spike Channel is also joining. We have also redone our Italian and Hindi packs and Sony has joined our EST (electronic sell-through) library which completes the set.”

Fetch TV is backed by Malaysian parent, Astro All Asia Network, which has been active in Australia since 2010 but has experienced a growth surge in the past two years following the launch of Netflix and a growing focus on the streaming space as a way for telcos to lure consumers. 

FetchTV says it is now profitable.

FetchTV: Now profitable with “exponential subscriber growth”

“We have exceed $100m in annualised revenue,” he said. “We are now profitable and our subscriber growth is exponential.

Asked about the decision to do a deal with Presto, Lorson said Fetch TV was open to doing deals with anyone.

The thing that makes us unique is that we are entirely agnostic and focused on creating an ecosystem,” he said.

“Anyone who is able to offer a compelling service, we are keen to integrate into our offering. If we aspire to be a one-stop home of entertainment, with a single interface and single bill, then we are happy to work with any party regardless of ownership structure.

Presto CEO, Shaun James, told Mumbrella that he believed the deal would be good for the SVOD service as well.


James: “We’re a standalone business”

“Presto has always been set up as a standalone business – a joint-venture between Foxtel and Seven – Fetch TV as a distributor and partner is always one that we wanted to get to. It just took us a bit longer than everyone else,” he conceded.

“We have shared with Fetch where we are and they have a very aggressive roadmap in terms of the Mighty and the Mini.

“I think two things will happen: new people will come in who haven’t experienced Presto before, and I think initially you will see existing customers adding Fetch as a registered device.

“If you look at all the statistics (on IPTV) usage is up and up and up. We wanted to be on a wide range of devices and we are doing that, and we see Fetch as a really positive move for us in the platform department.”


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