Foxtel aims to stem the loss of subscribers by adding Netflix

Foxtel today unveiled a new user experience for subscribers while making Netflix available for the first time to those who have iQ4 set top boxes and, later, the iQ3.

Once fierce rivals, Foxtel will be hoping that by adding Netflix it will reduce the churn (cancellation) rate, which rose to to 17.7 per cent in the first quarter of this year, up from 15.3 per cent a year earlier.

According to Roy Morgan Research, the global streaming giant reached more than 11.2 million Australians at the end of February, a 12-month gain of 25.2 per cent.

The research firm estimated Foxtel reached nearly 5 million people, of whom 3 million also take Netflix. That 5 million will have grown significantly as News Corp reported in May that Foxtel Now had 505,000 subscribers and Kayo Sports had 239,000. The pay TV platform had 2.4 million broadcast subs, down 100,000 on the previous quarter.

For Netflix, the 2 million Foxtel users who do not have Netflix represents an opportunity to expand its customer base. As per Netflix’s standard terms internationally, the streamer will receive a small trailing commission for customers who sign up via Foxtel and an additional fee if billed via Foxtel.

As an incentive, the firm is offering a free six months Netflix trial to new and existing customers who buy a package costing at least $49 per month. Adding Netflix is the latest step in Foxtel’s “continued aggregation of the best content and streaming services for customers to view on demand,” it said.

Patrick Delany, Foxtel CEO, said: “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.

“I can’t think of a better streaming partner to kick off the New Foxtel Experience than Netflix. The new customer interface puts two entertainment powerhouses together providing Foxtel customers with access to Netflix service alongside our Foxtel Originals and programs from HBO, FX, the BBC and more.

“More than 1.1 million iQ3 and iQ4 set top boxes are already installed in our customers’ homes. Starting today, the New Foxtel Experience simplifies the way iQ4 users can enjoy Foxtel’s incredible range of drama, sport and movies as well as the best of video on demand, with the experience coming to iQ3 users coming shortly after.

“So whether customers crave Wentworth or Orange is the New Black, Lambs of God, Stranger Things, Big Little Lies or The Crown, they will find it, and more, on Foxtel.”

New Foxtel Experience key points

• More on demand content than ever included in the customer’s subscription including complete series box sets.
• Completely redesigned interface which simplifies discovering and navigating Foxtel’s 16,000 hours of TV on demand, one-click away using the remote home button.
• Personalised recommendations for customers based on their viewing history.
• Integration of app-based streaming services starting with Netflix. SBS On Demand will be added in the coming months.
• Introduction of a new Foxtel remote featuring a home button and a Netflix button.

The new interface will be progressively rolled out to iQ4 customers from today and is expected to be completed in August. The iQ3 roll-out will begin in September with all iQ3 customers expected to have the New Foxtel Experience in November.