Presto signals Telstra deal as it looks to grab more subscribers ahead of Netflix launch

Shaun James


The head of Presto has revealed it has made a deal with part-owners Telstra to provide access to the online streaming service alongside the telco’s other products across its platforms.

Shaun James revealed the move at the Broadcasting Digital Media Summit this morning telling the audience: “You will start to see announcements from Telstra in the next 24 hours in terms of an exclusive deal we have done there to distribute Presto alongside Telstra product and services.

“We recognise we need to get it out there to as many people as possible as quickly as possible.”

James’s statement comes on the same day that US streaming giant Netflix announced its formal Australian launch would be on March 24, which will be available on the Fetch TV platform carried by rival telcos Optus and iiNet among others.

Presto was created by pay-TV provider Foxtel, which is 50 per cent owned by Telstra, with Seven West Media since taking a stake in the venture.

Asked by the audience whether the Australian market was big enough for three major players, consisting of Presto, Stan and Netflix, James echoed previous comments by Presto partner Seven able whether the current level of competition would be sustainable.

“This is a question that is being asked regularly as the three fire up”, said James. “My very round about answer to that is time will tell.

“We’ve sized the market in terms of what we think the potential is and what the market share of Presto can be, for the business to be successful over that period.

“One of the key things we have learnt from the overseas experience is that you build scale very, very quickly. I mean Netflix went into Canada and built one million subscribers in 13 months. When these things pay off and the general public understands how to use them, what content is available, what devices they are on, they ramp up really really quickly.”

Fellow panel member Helen Kellie, chief content officer of SBS, was asked about the willingness of Australians to pay for content given the levels of piracy here.

“What is clear to me is that what (Australians) won’t do is we won’t wait,” said Kellie. “So if you make me wait then I’ll pirate.

“I’m willing to pay provided I get it quickly and a day’s wait for content coming from the US or Europe I think is really important.”

James also signalled the SVOD war over content would continue. “That is a very hot space not only in linear broadcast but also also the SVOD space,” he said.  “There is a race for people to try and fill the space with what they believe is the strongest content.

“The second part is distribution and especially in a SVOD environment. We’ve gone to tablets, PCs, Macs, we’ve also recently gone to phones.”

Nic Christensen 

Presto have since confirmed the announcement of a deal with the following statement:

Telstra, Australia’s leading telecommunications provider today announced that it had cemented an agreement to re-sell Presto’s subscription video on demand service to its customers.

The agreement means Telstra can market the Presto TV, Presto Movies and Presto Entertainment bundle subscription across a range of their product offerings, giving Telstra customers access to stream an unbelievable selection of 1000s of hours of ad-free movies and TV shows on demand.

The agreement will contribute dramatically to the expansion of consumer awareness of the Presto service, which has recently become available across even more mobile devices, including select iPhone and Android smartphones*.

“We believe Presto is a fantastic product delivering consumers access to an unbelievable subscription video on demand service of ad-free TV and movies and we are delighted that Australia’s largest telecommunications provider Telstra has chosen to re-sell Presto to their customers,” Shaun James, Director of Presto and VOD, said.

“It is a great stamp of approval for Presto, which is backed by Australia’s leading subscription television provider Foxtel and Australia’s number one free-to-air network, Channel Seven, and will provide us the opportunity to scale the product quickly, including across mobile devices.”

“We look forward to working closely with Telstra to help develop their plans to offer Presto and market the service to their customers.”

Eric Kearley, Telstra Director IPTV & Pay TV said the service is available to Telstra mobile customers from today and Telstra will soon launch a Presto app on the T-Box – Telstra’s digital set top box. There are more than 600,000 T-Boxes in market throughout Australia.

“Telstra customers value choice and we are delighted to partner with Presto to bring their impressive catalogue of entertainment to our customers on the move and at home,” Mr Kearley said.

“To celebrate our partnership with Presto, we are offering eligible Telstra mobile customers a complimentary three month Presto Entertainment subscription, so they can start enjoying blockbuster movies and complete seasons of popular TV series on-the-go.”

This Telstra offer is available to Telstra Pre-Paid customers when they activate on the Telstra Pre-Paid Freedom offer before 25 May 2015.  From today until 27 April 2015, eligible new and recontracting Telstra post-paid customers across mobiles, tablets and mobile broadband will also receive a complimentary three-month Presto Entertainment subscription. Standard monthly Presto Entertainment subscription fees apply upon expiry of the complimentary three month period*.

Presto will be unmetered for customers connecting to the service via Foxtel Broadband and Telstra fixed broadband. ISP and data charges will otherwise apply when viewing Presto over mobile networks and via non-Foxtel Broadband or non-Telstra broadband services*.

“We want to give our customers access to great content on a variety of devices and networks that suit their needs and I’m pleased to confirm that the service will be unmetered over Telstra fixed broadband services,” Mr Kearley added.

The Presto service is currently available to subscribers across a range of subscription options, determined by their entertainment needs – consumers can choose Presto TV or Presto Movies as stand-alone subscriptions for $9.99 per month or bundle both services with a Presto Entertainment subscription for $14.99 per month.

The new and improved Presto TV subscription will offer a vast TV library featuring complete seasons of programs available to stream on demand.

Available programs include full seasons of HBO series The Sopranos, The Wire, Sex and the City, Entourage, True Blood, Girls and Boardwalk Empire; SHOWTIME original series from CBS Studios International including Dexter®, The Borgias, Californication, Nurse Jackie and Ray Donovan; Foxtel’s award-winning local dramas Wentworth, Love My Way and Tangle; the Seven Network’s much loved Aussie dramas Packed to the Rafters, All Saints, Always Greener, and overseas series Mr Selfridge, Rosemary and Thyme and A Touch of Frost; ABC Commercial titles including Summer Heights High, We Can Be Heroes, Ja’mie: Private School Girl, Rake, Redfern Now and popular children’s series and specials such as Bob the Builder, Thomas the Tank Engine and The Wiggles; and from Viacom International Media Networks SpongeBob SquarePants and the lovable Dora the Explorer.

Presto Movies features blockbusters and all-time favourite films from a regularly updated collection.

Specially curated selections of the TV and movie titles available on Presto are easily accessed through the ‘Collections’ feature, with the remaining wealth of constantly updated content on Presto easily discovered through the ‘Search’ feature.  Presto encourages subscribers to check back regularly to discover new content via the Presto Community (, or to follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter (@presto).

Presto TV will be a 50-50 joint venture between Foxtel and Seven West Media.



Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.