Movie and TV streaming service Quickflix has announced the launch of a pay-as-you-go service, which it is offering to non-subscribers.
The new addition allows Kiwis to stream international TV shows like Downton Abbey, The Walking Dead, Hannibal, Orphan Black, Luther, Miranda, Rectify, Call the Midwife and Ja’mie: Private School Girl by the episode or to purchase as an entire season and watch on internet connected devices, including smart TVs, Xbox 360, tablets and smartphones. At present, subscriptions for the site start at $14.99 a month. Pay per play fees for movies come in at $6.99 and individual TV episodes are available from $3.99.
The service will also be available on Sony PS3 and PS4 consoles later in the year. And Quickflix says there are many more shows and movies to come from Disney, NBC Universal, ABC, eOne, Starz and BBC.
While Quickflix has access to HBO content in Australia, Sky has the rights to that content in this market. As a result, Quickflix has struggled with its content offer and the lack of quality content has meant it has struggled to gain traction here. But that appears to be improving and the fact that rights are increasingly being unbundled and sold for different mediums seems to be working in its favour.
“This is a major development for legal TV viewing in this country and provides a nice complement to our existing subscription service and pay per view latest release movies," says Quickflix NZ managing director Paddy Buckley in a release. "We’re delighted to be able to respond to consumer demand. Up to now, many Kiwis simply haven’t been able to access some of this content or it has been locked behind paywalls. For the latest TV on Quickflix, you only pay for what you want to watch and nothing else.”
In addition to this development, Quickflix is planning on putting its streaming service on Freeview and it will be available via compatible MyFreeview|HD digital TV recorders and connected Freeview|HD TVs on channel 200. It sent a release out about the plans in late 2012 and hoped to launch in late 2013, but it has yet to go live, although Freeview's general manager Sam Irvine says "watch this space". Since launching seven years ago 2.36 million Freeview approved devices have been sold throughout the country, so it's hoped this tie-up will expand its reach considerably. Viewers will be able to use the Quickflix 'all you can view' subscription offering as well as premium new release titles, which will be available as part of its pay-as-you-go service.
But all is not so rosy at board level. According to the NBR, shareholders are currently looking to spill the board and Quickflix "widened its loss to A$4.23 million in the six months ended Dec. 31, from A$3.41 million a year earlier, as revenue fell 12 percent and paying customer numbers shrank 10 percent."
Sky is set to launch an update to its MySky box later this year that will allow viewers to stream ondemand content through their TVs and it has also indicated a willingness to explore a Netflix-style offering that's separate to Sky. But when asked if it would consider offering an online-only subscription to its online and mobile offering SkyGo, head of corporate comms Kirsty Way said last year "no, not at this time. It’s an added value product for our customers. But we’re always evolving".
- This story originally said Quickflix was available on Freeview but it has yet to launch.