Binge has now launched as Australia’s newest streaming offering, with a wealth of drama, comedy, reality, lifestyle and movie, and it plans to add more through its deals with distributors including Warner Media, FX, NBCU, BBC and Sony.
The new service is helmed by Kayo CEO, Julian Ogrin, who has seen the platform develop its tech on the back of Kayo’s success in sports streaming. With a starting price of $10 for standard definition, rising to $18 for 4 x HD streams, Binge is entering a crowded landscape late, but with titles not previously available outside Foxtel subscriptions.
They include heavyweight US titles Game of Thrones, Westworld, Mrs. America, Succession, Devs, The Plot Against America, Chernobyl, Euphoria, Big Little Lies, Ray Donovan, Fosse Verdon, My Brilliant Friend, The Outsider, The Walking Dead, Feud, Avenue 5, Prodigal Son, Sharp Objects and British titles Gentleman Jack, Breeders, Catherine the Great, Downton Abbey, The War of the Worlds and Flack.
Providing access to such titles on SVOD at an affordable price is central to the Binge strategy.
“Our priority right now is really around premium drama & comedy-drama.”
“We’re going to capture new audiences of the fast-growing streaming market,” says Ogrin. “(Australia is at) 4 million streamers today, that’s going to grow to 85% penetration of households in three years, which will more than double the number. These streamers are very much about that bingeing experience. So our priority right now is really around premium drama & comedy-drama.
“Our plan around that is every season, every episode will be available on those particular shows.”
There are also classics including Seinfeld, Modern Family, The Office, Frasier and soon Friends. Australian scripted titles are more limited at launch but are expected to build. They include Picnic at Hanging Rock, A Place to Call Home, Mr. Inbetween, Lambs of God, Devil’s Playground, The Kettering Incident, Secret City and there is a sizeable slice of lifestyle titles including Gogglebox, River Cottage Australia, Coast Australia, Donna Hay, Food Safari and more.
Chief Marketing Officer Louise Crompton says the breadth of content is “Unturnoffable” -a word that is driving its promotions.
“We know that we have an incredible collection of content. Both the premium drama and the product experiences is incredible.
“When you’re loving something, and you just can’t turn it is an ‘Unturnoffable’ experience. So that’s where the word came from.”
“We’ve hand-picked some dramas that we want to launch with”
But in an apparently strategic move, not all titles on Foxtel will be available on Binge, including rabid prison drama, Wentworth. Ogrin describes Binge as curated titles.
“We’ve hand-picked some dramas that we want to launch with, and we will roll out shows over time. So it’s more of a ‘Watch This Space.’ This is day one and you’re going to see a lot of new shows coming in.”
The service will also offer weekly episodes of some new titles.
“Where we do have access and we are able to, we will put a full season up, or many seasons if we can, but when there’s content that’s literally TX-ing fresh, we will be showing those episodes as they drop weekly,” said Crompton.
Upcoming HBO Max titles will include Gossip Girl (reboot), The Flight Attendant and Raised by Wolves but Ogrin was coy around Binge having exclusivity.
“When we talk about rights it’s more of a conversation with Foxtel. Our job at Binge is really taking the content that we have and distributing it out to the market. It’s a bit like with Kayo -we don’t do sports rights. We take sports rights, and we leverage it. When you hear more about the HBO Max future you’ll be hearing it from Patrick (Delany, Foxtel CEO),” he explains.
That also includes the Friends reunion when it eventually takes place, post COVID-19 restrictions.
“We’ll wait and see,” Crompton said. “We need to wait to work through some of those titles.”
New customers can sign up for a two-week free trial at binge.com.au and be watching all the ad-free on demand Binge content on their favourite device with no lock in contracts.