Foxtel’s new streaming Service, Binge, is running a competition that awards winners the opportunity to write free reviews for News Corp publications. This comes after the closure of 14 mastheads and the loss of hundreds of jobs across News Corp over the past few months.
This post was originally published on July 15, 2020.
The competition requires entrants to submit a review of their favourite TV show or movie on the streaming service. It also requires them to explain “what makes them the country’s best entertainment reviewer .”
“The 10 winners will become the inaugural members of the BINGE Club, home to the country’s biggest and best Bingers, and receive a free 12 month BINGE Standard subscription,” the press release read.
Binge Standard is the mid-tier plan of the subscription service.
"As an official Binger, they will get to review and talk about their favourite titles on BINGE with a chance to have their reviews published across News Corp publications and BINGE channels," the press release said.
The terms and conditions confirms these reviews will be unpaid and run across six months. It is unclear how many reviews will be expected from the winners across this time period.
Clause 20 of the BINGEclub Official Bingers (Competition) states that each individual prize is valued up to $168. This includes a $14/month Binge Standard subscription for a year. With 10 winners, the total prize pool comes to $1,680.
The terms and conditions also states, "The Promoter is not obliged to publish any works or reviews of any entrant or winner."
Binge defended its decision to include unpaid labour as part of its competition prize in a statement.
"The BINGE Club is a light-hearted consumer competition to find people who love watching content, and love to talk about content," a Binge spokesperson told Gizmodo Australia.
"Competition winners will receive a 12 month subscription to BINGE as well as the opportunity to have their reviews featured in different channels including BINGE channels and News channels, which we believe is an excellent prize and incentive to enter the competition and become part of the club."
Gizmodo Australia asked Binge about offering free reviews as a prize after so many News Corp journalists lost their jobs recently.
"Of course this is not a substitute for the important role that journalism plays and is completely unrelated to any decisions media companies might make about their business models," the spokesperson said.
In a follow-up statement Binge compared review writing to reader comments and letters to the editor.
"It’s based on the idea that people love sharing their views on their favourite shows on social media, and fans might also enjoy the opportunity to share those views on a bigger platform. This already happens in the media via interviews given to journalists, reader comments on online articles, letters to the editor and contributed editorials – none of which are paid for."
News Corp declined to answer Gizmodo Australia's question about the competition.
This article has been updated to include a second comment from Binge.