Foxtel has just announced it's offering Netflix content to existing iQ4 customers, rolling out progressively from today. The changes mean two million Foxtel users (out of five million across Australia) who hadn't previously had access to Netflix, will now be able to access the streaming giant's content, according to figures supplied by Roy Morgan.
The fight to be Australia's streaming top dog continues with Netflix maintaining its position but Stan and Foxtel's streaming offering, Go, tightening the gap. But while the competition is fierce, Netflix and Foxtel seem to be doing the unthinkable: They're teaming up.
In an event on Wednesday 24 July, Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany announced the move in a bid to curb losses against the rise of streaming services in Australia, stating "we want our customers to have the best of TV and on demand in Australia all in one place."
"With our new user interface, accessing Foxtel's 16,000 hours of TV and on demand content is as simple for customers as one-click on the home button of their existing remote control."
Netflix confirmed as an app on Foxtel. But also, Netflix content will appear on IQ alongside Foxtel content on Netflix branded shelves. 6 months free Foxtel for Foxtel subscribers. #FOXTEL pic.twitter.com/daKJwEVIzZ
— Dan Barrett ???? (@TheDanBarrett) July 24, 2019
Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said the move was a defensive measure by Foxtel to prevent a mass customer exodus in light of cheaper streaming services available.
"Enabling the 5 million Australians with household access to Foxtel to view the streaming service through their Foxtel IQ box is a solid defensive measure to help prevent existing Foxtel subscribers ditching the service to move to cheaper alternatives and provides an extra incentive for new users to sign up for Foxtel," Levine said in a media release.
"The more Foxtel can be regarded as the 'gateway' to video content from the likes of Netflix, and perhaps other rival services in future, the more access Foxtel will gain to detailed user data metrics that will help them tailor their services, and advertising, to individual viewing preferences and the more valuable their service will in turn be to advertisers looking for an audience."
What do the changes mean?
For Foxtel customers with iQ4, Netflix content will be available for some customers on their service from today with its rollout expected to be completed by August. Customers with iQ3 will receive the update by the end of the year. The addition of Netflix content will set Foxtel customers back an additional $9.99 for the standard Netflix plan, as outlined in the fine print, but they're offering the first six months for free if redeemed on iQ4 by 31 December 2019. Netflix content looks to be automatically added as part of each Foxtel package, starting from the basic Drama and Entertainment offering at $49 per month for 12 months.
A basic Netflix subscription costs $9.99 per month to use one screen simultaneously while their premium offering is $17.99 per month for four simultaneous screens with 4K capability on eligible streams.
A Foxtel spokesperson has confirmed with Lifehacker Australia "customers will revert to Netflix's 'normal' pricing based on their tier selection."
"They will be direct Netflix subscribers who are accessing the service via our set top box," the spokesperson said to Lifehacker Australia.
— Paul Edwards (@pgtedwards) July 24, 2019
Kayo, the sports streaming service partially owned by Foxtel, will remain a separate offering from Foxtel's package.
Aside from the Netflix announcement, Foxtel's interface will be getting a makeover too.
— Tegan Jones (@Tegan_Writes) July 24, 2019
In a broader sense, the changes mark a huge shift in pay TV and streaming in Australia. Foxtel has maintained supremacy in the pay TV field but its position shies in comparison to Netflix's 11 million strong subscriber count and Stan's steadily growing 2.6 million. Now, 13 million Australians will have access to both services' content, according to Roy Morgan, including the three million who'd already been paying for both separately. That's around 64.4 per cent, nearly two-thirds, of Australia's population aged 14 and over.
Do I have to pay more for Netflix?
While Foxtel subscribers will be able to access Netflix content from today, Australians who pay for a Netflix account will not be able to access Foxtel content.
Netflix has confirmed to Lifehacker Australia the announcement will not affect any functions or pricing for Australian Netflix users who aren't subscribed to Foxtel.
This story is developing.
With the rise of streaming services offering scores of content for affordable prices, the expensive cable TV services, like Foxtel, have struggled to find new ways to keep up. As more long-time customers realise they can get more for less with other services, Foxtel has resorted to offering huge discounts to keep existing customers. So, here's how you can score yourself a full package for under $50.