Foxtel reveals deal with Netflix
FOXTEL has confirmed a partnership with Netflix among a raft of changes to its customer experience.
For the first time, Foxtel customers will be able to directly access Netflix's popular TV shows and movies from IQ4 set-top boxes. On the redesigned interface, a Netflix carousel is curated with general, non-algorithmic suggestions.
Foxtel has also rolled out a new remote control with a Netflix button that immediately launches the Netflix app within Foxtel's platform. Within the Netflix app, viewers will see customised suggestions.
Existing Netflix customers can log in through their IQ4 boxes, while new customers can sign up through Foxtel and be billed under one account. There is also a six months free Netflix trial for new customers through Foxtel.
The change only applies to Foxtel's cable customers. The Netflix app is still not available on Foxtel Now streaming set-top boxes.
The addition of Netflix is part of a broad redesign of Foxtel's user interface, which the company has dubbed "The New Foxtel Experience".
Primarily designed to surface TV and film titles from Foxtel's deep library of content, the interface has been rejigged to shift the emphasis away from live viewing to on-demand viewing to highlight the breadth of Foxtel's content beyond the TV guide.
The new look and functionality is the result of extensive user testing and is closer in design to Foxtel's streaming-only app, Foxtel Now.
The flashy new home screen will be populated with carousels, grouping together on-demand content suggestions by genre and popular titles. It will also feature personalised suggestions, as curated through algorithms based on a viewer's watch history.
Netflix's integration into Foxtel's platform heralds the possibility of more third-party streaming players to join the service. The new interface is built to include the likes of Amazon Prime Video, Stan or other brands in the future if deals are inked.
It's understood discussions between Foxtel and other streamers have taken place.
The new remote has haptic censors and will also feature voice command integration - like Apple's Siri or Amazon's Alexa - through which you can ask the search page to "Show me Sandra Bullock movies" or the like. But this function will not be available at launch, and there is no commitment to when it will be.
The remote will be available to customers for purchase and promotional offers based on their subscription package and tenure.
Foxtel chief executive Patrick Delany said: "We want our customers to have the best of TV and on-demand in Australia all in one place.
"With our new user interface, accessing Foxtel's 16,000 hours of TV and on-demand content is as simple for customers as one click on the home of their existing remote."
The changes will be rolled out to IQ4 boxes today and will be available on IQ3 boxes within months.
The Netflix collaboration and the redesigned user interface are designed to bolster Foxtel's fortunes, which have been under pressure in recent times.
Parent company News Corp*, which owns 65 per cent of Foxtel alongside Telstra's 35 per cent, contributed $300 million to Foxtel's books to cover the payment of maturing debts.
In its latest financial results released in May, Foxtel lost 100,000 broadcast subscribers from 2.5 million in the previous quarter to 2.4 million but had encouraging growth in its streaming products Kayo (209,000 subscribers) and Foxtel Now (505,000 subscribers).
*News Corp Australia is the publisher of this website
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