Presto was an Australian media streaming company which offered subscriptions to unlimited viewing of selected films, and from 2015, TV series. The service, initially owned wholly by Foxtel, launched on 13 March 2014 featuring films exclusively.
Type of site
|Founded||13 March 2014|
|Headquarters||Sydney, New South Wales, |
|Registration||Monthly subscription required to access content|
|Launched||15 January 2015|
|Current status||Defunct as of 31 January 2017|
There were three separate subscription options for Presto, named Presto Movies, Presto TV, and the bundled option Presto Entertainment. It competed primarily against Australian streaming company Quickflix, the American-based Netflix and the Fairfax Media and Nine Entertainment Co. joint venture Stan.
In October 2016, it was announced that Presto would cease operations on 31 January 2017.
The service initially launched contract-free on 13 March 2014 at AU$19.99, but was lowered to AU$9.99 in August 2014. Films tend to be mostly recent releases, and come from Foxtel's suite of Foxtel Movies channels, who have relationships with studios including MGM, NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures, Roadshow Films, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros Entertainment, Entertainment One (which formerly owned Hopscotch, but Hopscotch ceased operations by 2015, yet it still owns the rights to its catalog), Icon, Studiocanal and Transmission Films.
Presto TV and Presto Entertainment
On 8 December 2014, Foxtel and Seven West Media announced a spin-off of Presto Movies to launch before March 2015, to be named Presto Entertainment, which will feature television programs, with content coming from both Foxtel channels and the Seven Network. The existing Presto Movies service will continue to be available, but each will require a separate subscription. It became available on 15 January 2015, and was named Presto TV, with Presto Entertainment referring to the bundled offer for both movies and TV access at $14.99
Australian content made available from Foxtel will include Wentworth, Satisfaction, Love My Way, Spirited, and Tangle. Local Seven Network content includes Packed to the Rafters, All Saints, City Homicide, Home and Away, Winners & Losers and Always Greener. Foreign content will include Mr Selfridge, Lewis, A Touch of Frost and Rosemary and Thyme. Aquarius will join Presto after it premieres on the Seven Network.
Presto also had exclusive access to HBO programming including Entourage, The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire, with the notable exception of Game of Thrones. A non-exclusive deal was also reached with Showtime, which includes programs such as Ray Donovan, Dexter, Californication, however these programs will also feature on rival service Stan.
Cessation of operations
In October 2016 it was announced by the company that Seven West Media's 50% stake in Presto will be bought out by Foxtel and Presto will cease operations on 31 January 2017. All Presto users with a subscription will automatically be able to use Foxtel's streaming service, Foxtel Now.
Marketing and subscription numbers
Roughly 5 months after launch, it was suggested Presto Movies was struggling, with only "a few thousand subscribers". In May 2015, Roy Morgan Research found that Netflix had 1.039 million Australian users, compared to 97,000 for Presto and 91,000 for Stan. In October 2015, Nine Entertainment said that Stan had 150,000-200,000 paying subscribers, which they said was ahead of Presto's estimated 100,000 customers. It was later reported that Presto had approximately 130,000 paying subscribers as of September 2016, the month before the company announced it would cease operations the following January.
In May 2016, Presto had a public campaign in Melbourne involving a graffiti artist to promote the addition of Empire to the service.
- Campbell Simpson (24 February 2014). "Foxtel's New Presto Movie Service Launching On March 13". Gizmodo. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- Angus Kidman (15 August 2014). "Foxtel's Presto Movie Streaming Halves Price To $9.99 A Month". Lifehacker. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- "Foxtel unveils Presto movies streaming service". Foxtel. 26 February 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
- "Foxtel and Seven West combine to fight Netflix and Stan with Presto Entertainment". news.com.au. 8 December 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- "Presto switches on its TV streaming service". cnet. 15 January 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- "A Place to Call Home absent as Presto announces first wave of TV shows". Mumbrella. 10 December 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
- Knox, David (10 May 2015). "Airdate: Aquarius". TV Tonight. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- Alex Hayes (15 December 2014). "Presto picks up HBO content but Game of Thrones 'won't not be available on SVOD services worldwide'". Mumbrella. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- Knox, David (14 August 2015). "Mr. Robot coming to Presto". TV Tonight. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
- Knox, David (1 June 2015). "Presto adding new titles Rogue, The Firm, Bitten". TV Tonight. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
- Healey, Nic (1 May 2015). "What's new on Australian streaming services in May 2015". CNET. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
- Campbell Simpson (4 October 2016). "Presto is Dead". Gizmodo. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
- Alex Hayes (15 January 2015). "Presto Entertainment launches for $14.99 a month". Mumbrella. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- Angus Kidman (15 January 2015). "Foxtel's Presto TV Streaming Is Overpriced And Lacking Content". Gizmodo. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- Adam Turner (15 August 2014). "Foxtel slashes Presto movies to $9.99 p/m". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
- "Netflix wins the streaming battle with 1m users – ten times more than rivals Presto and Stan". Mumbrella. 23 June 2015.
- "Stan's paying subscribers revealed". if.com.au.
- "Presto closure sees Foxtel losses". TV Tonight.
- Knox, David (3 May 2016). "Presto tags Empire". TV Tonight. Retrieved 9 May 2016.