Australia’s Internet TV is to get a whole lot cheaper as rivals scramble to make ends meet in a highly competitive market. Just yesterday, Adam Internet broke ranks with its previous pricing model and is now charging $19.95 for FetchTV’s Full service, putting it on par with rival Internode, who slashed its FetchTV pricing on Friday, running scared after Optus and Telstra’s latest moves towards Internet TV.
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|Optus MeTV fetchtv service, launched last month.|
Optus launched their FetchTV offering, MeTV, last month, charging a $10 basic price (or free as part of their $109 bundle) offering a 1 Terabyte box with 450+ movies – putting it up against Telstra’s 500GB T Box and over 2000 movies menu.
“If you compare what you are getting now for subcription of $20 pm to what was in the market 12-18 months ago, I reckon there has been a seismic shift,” a source from leading IPTV provider told ChannelNews.
“ISP’s are now selling triple plays (broadband, home phone, included calls, fetchtv) for equal or less than an average Foxtel subscription.”
Last week, Telstra upped the ante by merging all content including Foxtel, BigPond Movies and music into a newly developed Digital Media Business and announced investment of $100 million into media infrastructure to deliver “broadcast-quality video streaming services” over any device – be it smartphone or tablet or Internet ready TV.
This shows the race is most definitely on.
Hot on the heels of Telstra’s announcement, ISP Internode slashed its FetchTV prices by 30% – matching Optus’ pricing – in a desperate bid to keep up with its rivals, in particular since bigger players like Telstra and Optus have far greater clout in terms of customer base, infrastructure investment and marketing.
Optus say they are ‘pleased’ with demand for new FetchTV service to date’ and has great expectations of future growth for its fledgling IPTV service, which even offers free movie a day to sweeten the deal for customers.
“We are really pleased with demand for Optus MeTV since its launch last month and expect to see continued growth as we expand functionality onto mobile and deliver a variety of exciting new content in the coming months,” a company spokesperson told ChannelNews.
“Optus welcomes competition as it’s great for consumers and ensures growth of the IPTV category. It’s good to see others take our lead in making subscription TV more affordable for the average Australian consumer. “
Internode, however, insists the price drop is all about the customer, despite the threat from Optus.
“As well as the price drop, Internode’s fetchtv service continues to deliver more for the customers. Recent developments include a much greater range of Video on Demand titles, a more intuitive user interface, a wider choice of specialty language channels and access YouTube, Facebook,”says MD Simon Hackett.
“By delivering more capabilities at a lower price, Internode’s fetchtv service is creating a great value proposition for the customer.”
And has the ISP, who was among the first in Australia to offer the fetchtv service seen a hike in demand since the price cut?
“Absolutely, there’s been a lot of extra interest, although it’s only been a couple of days since our announcement, so it’s still too early to identify how much impact it will have on sales,” says Hackett.
“IPTV is still an early stage market in Australia, but it is about to start taking off with services including fetchtv, T-Box, Quickflix and a range of other options.”
“Generally, market growth is sparked by two factors: Choice and price. Choice drives awareness.”
The diversity IPTV offers in the market, makes them much more likely to buy it, he adds.
And Hackett, like Optus, is confident of the road ahead in an IPTV market, where operators like Telstra, Optus, Internode and Adam all battle it out for subscribers
“The new price point for Internode’s fetchtv service makes it a highly competitive offer in this market, so we’re very optimistic,” Hackett believes.
And our industry source predicts other operators may also drop prices in the near future.
“Adam have repriced their fetchtv service …I suspect the others will follow quickly follow.”
“Interesting times ahead.”