As Foxtel prepares to meet the Netflix challenge head-on, news has surfaced regarding a possible pricing structure.
Next week is set to be huge for internet TV fans and the subscription entertainment industry in general as the red carpet (finally) rolls out on Netflix Australia. On Tuesday March 24, Daryl Hannah, Ben Mendelsohn, Ellie Kemper and others stars will be part of the Sydney’s party, a shindig that will celebrate some of entertainment’s greatest TV shows and movies being made available to Aussies for around $9.99 per month (if the rumours are true).
Its arrival will have a major impact on current go-to service Foxtel, and the entertainment provider has already been on the front foot, restructuring its packages and offering significant price drops on its core offerings. In a final bid to steal the limelight, Foxtel has announced the latest generation of its set-top box, the IQ3, will launch on Monday March 23 – yes, the day before Netflix. Don’t you love it when corporations fight for your dollar?!
The IQ3 ticks most of the right boxes, but doesn’t offer anything innovative. The promise of a bigger hard drive, Wi-Fi and a Bluetooth remote is generic at best, while the ability to restart shows you’ve missed the beginning of, and to scroll back 24-hours to watch previous offerings, does little more than put a different spin on existing features. Being tipped on trending shows and programs that match your viewing habits rounds out the IQ3’s current feature set.
Additional features are still expected to be revealed at launch on Monday, so we anticipate an ace or two that has yet to be announced. However, the biggest question mark is pricing. Today, finder.com.au received word from a source close to the pending announcement that the IQ3 will be available as a one-off $150 payment for a self-installation. Alternatively you will be able to pay $200 for it to be installed.
Currently, depending on your negotiation skills, it costs $150 to get an IQ2 box, which is broken into a $75 equipment fee, and a $75 installation fee. So effectively the price will be the same. However, it’s still a large leap from what is being offered by Netflix, which requires little more than the download of a free app to get started.
There’s definitely more to be revealed. How will Foxtel’s new broadband bundles play into plan options? Will the company still charge extra for watching HD programs in HD? Watch this space next week for all the confirmations.