It's no secret that Channel Nine is working on a service that beats Netflix to the punch in Australia for on-demand streaming. There's now never been a better time for Nine's parent company to release said service, with internal survey figures showing that over 50 per cent of people who currently pirate shows would pay for them on a decent streaming on demand platform.
In its recent investor briefing, Nine Entertainment Co detailed its strategy around launching StreamCo: its on-demand web streaming platform designed to beat Netflix to the Australian streaming market.
StreamCo is set to launch in 2015, and according to Nine Entertainment Co, will offer:
￼• Price comparable to international platforms • Movie and TV [streaming video on demand] titles • TV first run exclusives plus high volume back catalogue of premium titles • Movies − selection of pay window and catalogue titles • Dedicated content categories for target market • Tablet/mobile/laptop − enabled for the TV screen via Airplay and Chromecast
It doesn't mention exact pricing, but given that Netflix will cost you less than $10 per month for all-you-can-eat streaming, it can't be far off if these promises are anything to be believed.
Interestingly, StreamCo's internal research found (surprise, surprise) that Australia has a number of people pirating content from overseas. It also found that if these people were offered a legal option that was cheap and had content available quickly, that they would pay for it.
"Despite the high levels of piracy (largely via bit-torrent), 53% of surveyed ‘torrenting segment’ said they would pay for the service StreamCo is developing," it wrote in its Investor Presentation.
Take these survey results with a grain of salt, of course: Nine Entertainment Co is keen to convince investors that StreamCo is going to make a profit once it's launched in Australia. It also needs to get stakeholders on board that people will stop pirating shows otherwise aired by the network and its various interests.
Nine also doesn't reveal the methodology of its study, meaning that it could have just got 10 alleged pirates in a room and found that five of them would pay for it.
The figures, however, would prove yet another logical link between availability, pricing and people's willingness — especially in Australia — to part with their cash for content.