In what could be a pre-emptive strike against Netflix, Foxtel has halved the price of its subscription video streaming service to $9.99 per month, Presto.
Presto had been priced at $19.99 when it was launched earlier this year. Foxtel had originally planned to charge $24.99.
The $9.99 price tag puts Presto more in line with Netflix, which is not yet available in Australia but charges US$7.99 in the US for standard definition and US$8.99 for HD. At the current conversion rate, this translates to A$8.59.
The price drop also puts Presto in line with rival Quickflix, which costs $9.99 for streaming or $19.99 a month with streaming and unlimited DVDs (one at a time) by post per month.
The new pricing for Presto will take effect on Sunday (17 August). Existing paying Presto customers will receive one month free for their loyalty, Foxtel said.
Presto users can watch movies on the TV using Google Chromecast or on an Apple iPad, selected Android tablets and PC or Mac computers. High-definition video is not yet available, with movies streamed in 480p standard resolution.
The service does not include new-release movies, but has some movies released on disc in early 2014 (for example, the service just added Captain Phillips). Unlike Netflix, the Presto service does not yet include TV shows.
Despite some speculation about Netflix coming to Australia, the company has not officially announced any plans to come to ANZ.
However, many Australians use the service anyway by circumventing its geo-blocking using a VPN.
Netflix is the second most popular paid-content media company in Australia, representing 27 per cent of the subscription rental media service market in Australia, according to the August 2014 issue of Choice Magazine.