The Australian has reported that pay-TV operator Foxtel has unveiled a new online platform with extensive movie content, competing with the free-to-air television sector over subscription VOD services similar to Netflix. 

The report added that the new streaming service – to be called Presto – is seen as a pre-emptive strike against potential upcoming moves by Seven West Media and Nine Entertainment Co to offer their own versions of subscription movie platforms.

Presto customers will get a monthly pass for $24.99, with additional charges applying for pay-per view titles, and they can come and go with no lock-in contract, according to the report.

The service will be launched initially for PC and Mac computers and will be available on compatible iOS and Android tablets soon afterwards, added the report. The report also explained that viewers will be able to get on-demand access to all content from the seven live Foxtel Movies channels: Premiere, Comedy, Drama/ Romance, Thriller/Crime, Action/Adventure, Family and Masterpiece, including almost all of Australia’s most recent top 100 box office movies as well as a vault of older titles, the playlist regularly being updated.

“Our strategy is very much about creating a range of different products at different price points,” said Foxtel CEO Richard Freudenstein. “The core Foxtel cable and satellite service is always going to be our premium service. But we recognise that as internet delivery becomes more popular we need to be part of that as well.”

“Foxtel Play is a cutdown version of Foxtel, smaller packages at cheaper prices. But we also recognise there’s another segment who particularly like movies and so we can expand our customer base. It’s certainly more like a Netflix-type service, but different: a subscription service providing a lot of on-demand content.”

Freudenstein said Presto would not eat into Foxtel’s cable subscriber base, added the report. “It’s a very different service. It appeals to a very specific segment of movie lovers that don’t want any other channels,” he said.