Telstra To Battle Optus With Unified Content App As Netflix Looms

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Telstra is set to roll out a brand new unified content app that could appear on up to a million TV players, set top boxes and Smart TVs within six months. The move comes after Optus launched a limited version of their new Fetch TV Optus MeTV offering yesterday and Netflix confirmed overnight that Australia is one of the countries targeted to deliver their content service.Ben Kinealy, the head of Telstra’s IPTV Services, T Box and Pay TV said that Telstra was also close to launching a premium movie TV service and that the company was currently talking to the likes of Western Digital to load their new BigPond content app onto the Western Digital TV player which has already sold close to a million units in Australia.

Kinealy claims that there is a big difference between Telstra’s T Box offering and the new Optus Fetch TV offering that was launched yesterday. He said that when Telstra launch their Unified App that they will be able to “significantly” expand their content offering in Australia.

“We have significantly more movies on offer. We have over 2,000 while Optus has 600 back catalogue movies. An existing Telstra customer also has the opportunity of purchasing outright the T Box for $299. If they do this they will only have to pay for movie rentals” Kinealy said.

Reading the fine print of the terms and conditions for Telstra and Optus content services reveals the true costs.

The minimum cost for the Optus Fetch TV package is a whopping $2686.45 over 24 months. Movie rentals are not included in this price.

The Minimum cost for the T-Box is $908.35 based on T-Box, BigPond 2GB Elite ADSL $49.95/mth over 12 months and $9.95 delivery fee.

The new Optus is available to all Optus fixed and mobile customers; pricing starts at $9.95/month. This includes the FetchTV box and a 30 movies per month subscription via access to Fetch’s Movie Box service, however users have to commit to a 24 month plan and the $50 set up and delivery costs.

 

Kinealy said that currently Telstra has over 200,000 T Box subscribers who are renting on average 4 movies a month. He said this will increase significantly when Telstra launch their unified app that delivers both TV and movie services to TVs, set top boxes as well as storage devices that have a built in TV element similar to what Western Digital and Seagate are offering. 
 
Overnight Netflix confirmed that they are set to launch its online TV and movies subscription service in the UK and Ireland and that Australia was one of the Countries that the US content provider has discussed with Hollywood movie studios as a location to launch their $9.95 a month subscription service.

The big difference is that Netflix will offer tens of thousands of films including exclusive early access to new films. This is a threat to both Optus and Telstra as Companies like Samsung, LG, Panasonic as well as Microsoft with their Xbox 360 are currently delivering the Netflix service in the UK.

Worldwide Netflix has 25 million users and is said to be the biggest single source of US web traffic, accounting for 24.71 per cent of use.

In the USA customers typically pay around $7.99-$9.99 a month to stream Netflix films to devices.

Recently Netflix signed a number of deals with leading film studios to have the first rights to offer blockbuster movies once they have finished their cinema run.

The move to offering International services comes after a series of hiccups for the company in the U.S., including price hikes and a disastrous attempt to split off its DVD rental business into a new company called Qwikster.

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