Lightbox fills the Kiwi void with 19 locally produced shows—UPDATED

Following on from Lightbox’s recent announcement that it added 19 local shows to its catalogue (see below), Quickflix has now also sent out a release saying that it has expanded its local choices. And much like its competitor, Quickflix has also selected local content that’s targeted across age groups.  

The new deal with South Pacific Pictures will see Nothing Trivial, Mataku and Diplomatic Immunity entertain older audiences, while children’s fantasy series Maddigan’s Quest, light-hearted teen drama Being Eve, major documentary series Captain Cook – Obsession & Discovery and Kaitangata Twitch (which is based on the bestselling novel by Margaret Mahy and produced by Production Shed) will keep younger audiences entertained.  

These new additions take their place alongside Outrageous Fortune, Go Girls, and bro’Town, which are already available on Quickflix.

“Over the course of 2014, we’ve seen a huge swell of interest and demand for local content from both existing and new customers,” says Paddy Buckley, the managing director of the subscription video on demand (SVOD) provider. “Some of our Kiwi shows are not available on any other streaming service and Quickflix remains the only place to watch great movies and TV across the widest range of devices.”     

{Previous story published on 30 October} At end of June, upon lifting lid of Lightbox, the Spark subsidiary’s head of programming and local content Maria Mahony told StopPress that she was in talks with local film distributors to secure a deal to screen several local shows.

Shortly after Lightbox‘s announcements, Quickflix sent out a release saying that it had snapped up pair of local shows, which Lightbox was thought to have been interested in, and this seemingly spoiled the party for the newcomer.

Then, when Lightbox later revealed its lineup there was a clear Kiwi-shaped hole in its programming, leading to questions as to whether the subscription video on demand (SVOD) provider would in fact be adding any local shows to its lineup. However, these questions have now been answered by today’s announcement that Lightbox has added no less than 19 local shows to its catalogue. 

“Lightbox aims to offer the best in each category and, as a home grown service, one category we have always been keen to carry is New Zealand-made television,” said Mahony in a release. “We want to build a comprehensive collection of shows that represent the depth and variety and weirdness of the New Zealand imagination and that tell local stories that need to be told. This latest drop of shows is our first step down that path.”

The full list of new local content includes:
•    Aftershock (arriving next week)
•    Being Eve (S1 – 2)
•    bro’Town (S1 – 5)
•    Clare (arriving next week)
•    Eruption (arriving next week)
•    Here To Stay
•    Holly’s Heroes
•    How To Look At A Painting 
•    Kaitangata Twitch 
•    Maddigan’s Quest
•    Mataku (S1 – 2)
•    Nothing Trivial (S1 – S3 plus tele-feature)
•    Out Of The Blue 
•    The Big Picture
•    The Garden Pantry
•    The Hot House
•    The Insider’s Guide To Happiness
•    The Insider’s Guide To Love

•    The Jaquie Brown Diaries (S1, S2) 

Notably, the list also includes bro’Town, one of the shows that Quickflix has also secured rights for. This shared deal is only possible, because Quickflix does not hold exclusive SVOD rights to the show.*

In addition to catering to older audiences with shows such as Nothing Trivial and The Jacquie Brown Diaries, the list of shows also has content geared at younger viewers in Being Eve, Maddigan’s Quest and Kaitangata Twitch.

Lightbox CEO, Kym Niblock, says today’s announcement highlights the company’s commitment to providing greater choice when it comes to how, when and where New Zealanders watch TV.

“Over the past two months tens of thousands of New Zealanders have had a taste of what Lightbox is all about: affordable and great TV, online, anytime,” she said in a release. “While we already have a stellar line-up of international TV shows and are busy acquiring more, we’re pleased to be able to add even more terrific TV shows to our bursting line-up.”

Given the strong prevalence of Kiwi shows in the each of the lists of the most-streamed shows among SVOD providers over the course of the last year, this move could encourage a few more Kiwi viewers give Lighbox’s 30-day trial a shot to watch local content that can’t be accessed elsewhere. And if the Kiwi appetite for local content on other SVOD streaming services is anything to go by, then this could translate into some reaching into their pockets to pay the subscription fees once the trial expires.  

*Correction: this story previously incorrectly stated that South Pacific Pictures holds rights for bro’Town.    

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