Australia - Competition is hotting up in the Video Entertainment market
Competition in the Video Entertainment market has reached fever pitch. Driven by the popularity of OTT services like Netflix and Hulu in overseas markets all players in the Australian entertainment market are now on full alert. Belatedly Foxtel has lowered its pay TV service to address affordability concerns, but it remains a premium service and it will be interesting to see if this finally leads to some real growth for the company. Its foreshadowed triple play model for 2015 will also address the relative high churn (13%) the company is still facing. Telstra and Foxtel are also going to compete head on with each other, aimed at combined beating the rest of the competition.
Access to premium content will continue to be a key issue for companies such as Fetch TV, as well as the OTT players. Fetch is positioning itself as the alternative to Telstra and Foxtel and is delivering the best one-stop-shop service on a very user-friendly platform.
The broadcasters are also trying to stay in the game. Using the new HbbTV technology they have launched a new TV guide across all of the FtA channels; however, the reach of the technology is limited to new TV sets, while there still is not a full alignment of all of the programmes delivered by the various broadcasters. Furthermore, they face as in the case of pay TV an ageing TV audience.
The joint venture between Channel Nine and Fairfax could well mean the beginning, not of just another OTT venture, but of a more structural change in the industry leading to consolidation, mergers and acquisitions.