Hoyts to diversify into online streaming

Hoyts will soon offer online streaming, in addition to its DVD kiosks and cinema platforms.

Hoyts will soon have three platforms for its movies, launching its own streaming service in early 2013 with Hoyts Stream.

The company will offer pay-as-you-go options for movie and TV content, with at least 1500 titles available on its streaming service.

Hoyts will release what it is calling an ‘all-you-can-eat’ subscription for movie and TV ‘classics’ further down the track in 2013.

“Hoyts believes that the proliferation of tablets, other mobile devices and smart televisions, coupled with ubiquitous broadband, will enable it to access consumers directly, leveraging its content relationships, bundling/rewards opportunities, and brand,” the company said in a statement.

Hoyts currently has more than 18 million customers a year pass through its cinemas, with 547,000 members on its rewards and club program.

It also has more than 200,000 active customers using its DVD rental kiosk, Oovie, which will be rebranded to Hoyts Kiosk as a result of the launch of Hoyts Stream.

"We entered into [the] home entertainment and took our time with Oovie. It is now a successful business model and doing very well. Stream is simply an evolution of what we are already doing in the [home entertainment] space. It will take time but we have the scale and reach to make this a very good experience for our customers," Crispin Tristram, chief marketing officer, told Computerworld Australia.

“Australians are growing more and more demanding in how they want their movie experience delivered,” David Kirk, Hoyts Corporation chairman, said in a statement.

“The convergence of entertainment and technology is exciting & has inspired us to harness digital platforms so as to provide our customers choice for how they consume filmed entertainment from Hoyts, be it on the big screen, small screen or now any screen.”

Tristram said Hoyts is still finalising pricing plans yet, with prices to be announced when the product launches in 2013.

"We will, however, be leveraging our theatrical and DVD kiosk business in the pricing constructs," Tristram said.

However, the Hoyts service will be competing with several other players in the streaming and DVD rental market, such as Quickflix, which recently released a Kogan wifi-enabled Smart TV HDMI dongle which comes preloaded with Quickflix. This enables TVs to have on-demand movie streaming.

Hoyts Stream will also be competing against Telstra’s BigPond Movies service, which has a library of more than 4000 movies and TV episodes.

Follow Stephanie McDonald on Twitter: @stephmcdonald0

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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