Fetch TV boss says he would welcome Netflix and Stan onto platform

Scott LorsonThe CEO of Fetch TV Scott Lorson has said he would welcome video streaming players such as Netflix and new streaming play Stan onto its platform as the service looks to challenge Foxtel’s stranglehold on the pay-TV industry in Australia.

Speaking to Mumbrella the day after Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media announced its joint streaming platform will be called Stan, Lorson said: “FetchTV sees ourselves very much as a platform eco system. Popular streaming services available on the internet are something we will be keen to integrate.”

“We have already integrated the free-to-air catch up services, Youtube and we are in the process of integrating several other third party services. The reality is good video services are best consumed on the TV and will seek to be the most convenient way to access those services.”

Fetch TV, an over-the-top internet streaming service which provides a pay-TV lite service starting at $15-$30, has partnerships with telcos including Optus, iiNet and Dodo and is delivered into homes via a set-top box to 140,000 subscribers.

Lorson argued that the contest would not just be around the various SVOD players such as Netflix, Foxtel’s Presto and Stan, but also at the carrier level at integrating services.

“As audiences’ requirements fragment they are looking for someone to do the hard work in simplifying the engagement and interface and we absolutely see that as a competitive advantage,” he said.

“We have chosen hardware and software that facilitates very easy integration with these types of services.”

SteamCo declined to comment while Netflix did not respond to a request for comment. Presto boss Shaun James told Mumbrella: “We’ve got no plans beyond making our already strong offer even stronger right now, while anything is possible, something like that just isn’t on our radar at the moment.”

Presto also signalled that it is continuing to look at putting its streaming product into the wider Foxtel triple play bundle.

“It is an option and is certainly something we are looking at at the moment,” said James.

“We have been doing a lot of work to go to market and it is not an unusual thing to see SVOD products bundled with other services like broadband and other services. There are plenty of other examples of that in other markets.”

James also signalled that the company would launch a major marketing push as rival Netflix and Stan prepared to launch their Australian operations. “There is no secret in that (we will ramp up marketing),” he said. The other thing that has been missed in regards to Presto is that we understand the distribution footprint and that the way to get Presto to market is key.

Competition in the telecommunications space is heating up. Earlier this week Foxtel signalled its intention to compete more in the online space confirming an entry price of $100 for the triple play of Foxtel, internet and a landline.

Nic Christensen


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