Play won't eat into set top box subscriptions: Foxtel

Foxtel Play won't cannibalise its core set top box business, says Foxtel

Foxtel's new streaming IPTV service, Foxtel Play, won't cannibalise its core set top box business because it is targeted at a "very different market", according to the company.

Speaking to Good Gear Guide about the new Play service, Foxtel's executive director of product, Jim Rudder, says the IPTV offering will target a new set of customers rather than encourage current set top box subscribers to switch to the new streaming service.

"The bottom line to this product is that we see this as a way of targeting another group of customers. The customers that currently have the full set top box subscription love it, they love the PVR functionality, the HD, and everything that goes with it."

"This is really catering for a market that I think we've been missing for a long time. It's a very different market and a very different group of people."

The Foxtel Play service is entirely online, with no subscription to the company's cable TV service necessary. There is no minimum contract length, and no sign-up or termination fee, but the service doesn't offer recording capabilities or HD content.

The IPTV service is available on any internet-connected PC or Mac, Xbox 360 console or any 2012/2013 Samsung Smart TV. It will also be launching soon on LG smart TVs and a range of other devices.

Foxtel hasn't outlined any other products specifically but says it is constantly in discussions with TV manufacturers, gaming console manufacturers, and other digital device manufacturers.

Rudder says it's ultimately the flexibility of the Play service that will attract a new set of Foxtel customers.

"The great benefit of this product is that there's no lock in contract. It's sign up in minutes so there's no infrastructure and the sort of costs normally associated with that, and then on top of that this is a more flexible choice of content. This is easier, and very flexible."

When questioned about the extra costs for "premium content" like sports and movies, Rudder said it's still cheaper than the traditional set top box offering.

"If you want just sport, you still have to buy through so to speak, but it's much cheaper, it's $50 a month and you're up in minutes, and you only have to stay for a month."

The Foxtel Play service costs a minimum of $25 per month, which must be used for one of four Genre packages — Entertainment, Drama, Documentaries or Kids.

Adding further packages raises the monthly cost to $35, $45, or $50 incrementally, while the Sport and Movies premium picks are $25 each per month but cannot be ordered independently of a Genre package.

What do you think of Foxtel Play? Are you are current Foxtel subscriber? Would you consider the Play service? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

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