Foxtel’s new bid for everyone’s streaming audience

Feb 22, 2024 at 11:33 am by admin

News Corp and its Foxtel partner Telstra are dealing themselves a new, bigger share of Australia’s streaming market with the launch of a fresh box modelled on UK experience.

Patrick Delany, chief executive of Foxtel – which is two-thirds owned by News – announced the Hubbl aggregator hub earlier this week, as a means to a “seamless user experience’ embracing free and paid content.

Last night, 18 partners were announced including content providers including Netflix, Disney+, Prime, Apple TV+, Paramount+, Nine’s Stan and News’ Binge and Kayo, as well as free BVOD services from national broadcaster the ABC and commercials 7plus and 10 Play. Terms of the agreement have not been released.

The “box” version of Hubbl is to be offered for $99 at Harvey Norman, JB Hi Fi and online, at a date still to be announced.

A TV monitor version – dubbed Hubbl Glass, like its UK counterpart, Sky Glass – with Hubbl and a built-in sound bar will start at $1,595. Both will need an internet connection to offer “live TV without an aerial, seamless subscription management at the touch of a button, more discoverability and personalisation”.

In the UK, Sky Glass (pictured) is marketed as “The only TV with Sky inside – no dish, just plug and play”. Sky Stream – described as “TV simplified” – is offered online “from just GBP£25 (A$48.20) a month on an 18 month contract

In Australia, customers who can stack up to five “eligible” streaming apps on the device are promised subscription savings of up to $15 per month.

Unsurprisingly, the product is being heavily promoted by News’ national and metro mastheads and elsewhere. Headlines announce “Hubbl ‘revolution’ off to a flying start” and talk of “Incredible new streaming service”.

• New research released this week by Netflix and YouGov indicated that Australians watch at work and while on the toilet. Some 1003 Australians were surveyed last July, with 68 per cent saying they accessed and personally used Netflix, but only six per cent saying that was all they used.

Comedy (47 per cent), drama (35 per cent), and documentaries and thrillers (both 27per cent) were the most popular genres.

• Foxtel has since announced that the device will be available to purchase from March 10.

Sections: Digital business


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