With the trials and tribulations of Quickflix and Ezyflix, the arrival of Premier League Pass and Lightbox, the impending arrival of Sky’s Neon and murmurings that Netflix will launch in Australia next year, there’s plenty of action in the subscription video on-demand market at the moment. And that’s good news for content consumers. But one of the major impediments to uptake is the hassle—or perception of hassle—in getting that content on the main TV. So, following in the footsteps of Quickflix and the free-to-air broadcasters, Lightbox has launched an app that offers its service through Samsung Smart TVs.
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. UPDATE: Quickflix ups its local game with seven more shows.
Sky had a stunner last Friday when it announced great numbers, a new five year rugby deal and plans for some fancy new additions to its boxes. It also announced the launch of its much-discussed SVOD offering Neon, which is set to launch in December. Here’s what managing director Dave Joyce had to say about the strategy behind it.
TVNZ is bringing a Netflix original to Kiwi screens in the shape of Orange is the New Black, in a move that will see all the episodes of both seasons of the popular prison dramedy, which recently won three Emmy Awards, streamed via the TVNZ Ondemand service for the month of September. PLUS: we look at how Netflix decides on which shows to invest in.
Comedian and actor Ricky Gervais, who currently stars in Netflix original Derek, has branched out and stepped into the lead roles of several of Netflix’s shows for a new campaign that aims to promote some hit programming available through the online streaming service. The 60-second spot sees the rotund actor stepping into House of Cards, Lilyhammer and Orange is the New Black as he becomes part of the storylines that he has followed on Netflix.
Slingshot’s decision to open the door to give Kiwis access to geo-locked sites such as Netflix has come under scrutiny for potentially contravening international copyright laws, but this hasn’t dissuaded consumers from visiting the site. According to the Herald, the number of Slingshot customers accessing movie websites like Netflix has quadrupled since the internet company unblocked them several weeks ago. But with the growing popularity of the SVOD site, there comes the possibility of some serious brain warping. As indicated by three clips from the new US-based Netflix campaign, we could essentially be setting ourselves up for a future of awkward (but somehow endearing) proposals, bizarre visits to the doctor and anti-climactic airport reunions.
Last week, shortly after the release of Telecom’s Lightbox offering, Quickflix announced an agreement with South Pacific Pictures that gave the veteran in New Zealand’s SVOD market rights to over 120 hours of local content via Go Girls and Outrageous Fortune. And given that Lightbox’s head of programming and local content Maria Mahony admitted to StopPress that she was currently in talks with local film distributors to secure a deal to screen several local shows, this announcement by Quickflix will no doubt be competitive blow to the newcomer.
Sky TV plans to increase its digital offering before the end of the year with the introduction of a subscription video on-demand service (SVOD), which will stand alone from Sky’s pay television services and be available to both Sky and non-Sky customers. This announcement comes shortly before Telecom is expected to announce the release of its SVOD services. So who will become the Netflix of New Zealand?