Y&R NZ floats down Quickflix stream

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  • May 15, 2012
  • Ben Fahy
Y&R NZ floats down Quickflix stream

Y&R NZ has been appointed as the creative agency for Quickflix Australia and New Zealand and will start immediately on developing separate campaigns for both markets. And Quickflix is certainly going to need some help in this market, as it seems to have largely gone under the radar since launching with a call to the government to regulate content rights because they hinder broadband uptake. 

The ASX-listed Quickflix, "the first and only movie and TV streaming subscription service" in New Zealand, has aggressive growth plans for both countries and it recently announced that Time Warner‐owned HBO had taken a 16 percent stake in the company (in Australia, Quickflix has license to show HBO content, but in New Zealand Sky has the rights so it's sorely lacking in enticing TV content).

“This is the future of entertainment, what you want to watch, when you want to watch it on pretty much any device you want," says Jon Ramage, chief executive of Y&R NZ. “We’re excited to be part of this new era in entertainment."

In the USA, Netflix accounts for nearly 20 percent of internet traffic. In the UK, BBC iPlayer has similar numbers, in France, consumers have a choice of over 50 on-demand and streaming sport, television and movie services delivered over the internet and all the major local broadcasters, as well as sites like Ziln, are experiencing big increases for On-demand viewing.

“We’re looking forward to working with Y&R NZ on our campaign. They’ve shown us some great creative ways to build our brand and drive subscriptions in both markets," says Chris Taylor, chief executive of Quickflix and ex-chief executive of Prime. "There are lots of opportunities ahead and we’re delighted to be working with Y&R to realise them. New Zealand delivers well above its weight creatively and the new team at Y&R will certainly prove this.”

The company's complaints about exclusive content rights appear to have fallen on deaf ears, however. And in a story on the NBR, Sky's chief executive John Fellet gave it a serve for having unrealistic expectations.

“In every country, every TV provider has exclusive premium content arrangements and every TV provider - and telco for that matter - can bid for that content if they wish to,” he said. “The fact is the rights to the most-watched TV shows in New Zealand sit with TVNZ and Mediaworks exclusively, not Sky, yet Quickflix doesn’t seem to complain about that ... When Quickflix head Chris Taylor was CEO of Prime in New Zealand, he did exclusive deals for shows like Top Gear and Weeds. Would he now surrender those to online start-ups? I very much doubt it. Likewise in Australia he holds exclusive rights for HBO content, I doubt he offered them to channel 7, 9 or 10."

Elsewhere in streaming land, new ISP Fyx, a sub-brand of Maxnet that launched last week to fanfare about its 'global mode' setting that allowed Kiwi users to access geo-blocked services such as Hulu, has pulled the plug on that particular service, citing matters that "require further consideration before continuing".

Accordingly, future and existing customers will pay a slightly reduced price of $30.30 per month, with $0.30 per GB for data (down from $34.34 a month and 34 cents per GB), now that Fyx's main point of difference is no more.

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