Binge looks to new audiences

Opening up access to titles that haven't been on SVOD at an affordable price, is the strategy to Binge.

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.

47 Responses

  1. Hey David.
    How does it work, ‘Love Life’ is streaming on Stan.
    I thought it’s HBO Max original….
    Do you know when content HBO Max content will be available?

  2. I ended up cancelling Binge, it will still go until the 2 weeks trial is up but won’t be bothering after a bad night trying to watch last night. To their credit there was a fairly detailed cancelling survey after and I filled it in explaining everything; they did contact me back via my email with suggestions. One was to buy a Chromecast Ultra rather than using the built in mirroring with my TV (could be it’s not compatible with my 2014 Samsung), or buy a Telstra TV or Apple TV box, they didn’t say buy a new Android TV thankfully.

    So yep I am done due to Binge not being compatible and not really wanting to fork out more dollars just to have it, I’ll stick with Amazon Prime and the Curiosity Stream that have Apps on my “old” TV. Along with dipping in and out of Stan and Netflix which also have Apps on my TV, really wanted this to work but should have known better with having…

  3. what about old movies since foxtel got rid of tcm all they have is a few old movies on foxtel classic same all the time they should put tcm back on and the critern channel then they might get some new viewers

  4. I reckon Viacom CBS / Ten should cut there cloth and dump Ten All Access and put all of there shows on Foxtel’s Binge services which is run by a company that knows how to build a streaming that isn’t clunky and takes forever to load.

    1. CBS All Access (Know as 10 All Access in Australia) To Get a Winter (in AU) Reboot and rebranded, Adding New Films and Shows Ahead Of Global Expansion over the next 12 months per Deadline.
      They are looking at integrating its catalogue of IP available to them from within the ViacomCBS family too.

  5. I have traditional Foxtel so no need for this at present.

    Found it very bizarre to read that there are series with missing seasons. Hard to binge a show under those circumstances. Seems like another streaming fail from Foxtel.

  6. I shall be staying with Foxtel Now for now as Binge is streaming much the same content and I watch Sky News as well.
    Anyone curious about Binge’s streaming quality should try it out on an Apple 4K TV, it has numerous SDR and HDR options and usually enhances the picture quality of low quality formats, certainly Kayo looks okay using the Apple app.

  7. I’ve signed up for the two-week trial because I’ve been wanting a streaming service with Sex and the City, but I doubt I’ll stay with it. I previously had Foxtel Now (or Go?) to watch Chernobyl and the picture quality was terrible. Turned me right off. Considering it was almost double the price of Netflix and Stan I dropped it right after. Their mission to “stop the scroll” or whatever is a bit rich – that’s basically all I did for 15 mins with it last night before watching something on Prime.

  8. I was worried about missing out on quality shows like Wentworth,but I think you can still see them on the linear channels on the Binge app.Unfortunately,I checked them out yesterday,and the picture quality isn’t great,only standard definition at best to my eyes.

      1. I’ve just tested it on a repeat episode of Wentworth airing right this moment on showcase. It is playing on the linear channel on Binge. Be interesting to see if this will be the case when it returns at the end of July for Season 8.

    1. Yeah, standard def for the linear channels for me too, even though I have a HD subscription. I ended up getting a VPN for US Netflix as they have Wentworth and a bunch more titles I wanted.

  9. I would be tempted to sign up to this just for the convenience of an Apple TV app and viewer profiles. But with Wentworth coming I will keep my $15/month Foxtel Now/Go/Play for now. I actually cannot recall the name of the service I have because so many name changes.

  10. The HBO Max Originals will end up being make or break for me as I see this is a replacement for me renting the TV Shows I like via Fetch. As that is how I watched Mr Robot, Westworld, Chernobyl, *Better Call Saul and a few others over the years like Suits, Legion etc., including Wentworth (up to Season 5), so without old Wentworth on there I’ll likely watch seasons 6 and 7 when they come to Fetch TV store.

    If this had have happened a year ago may have been a different story as I would have had more like Mr Robot and Suits to name but two. However with both those done and having already watched the new season of Westworld, I’m finding there isn’t much on there with the 14 day trial I started yesterday. So unless I see HBO Max originals come on when HBO Max launches on May 28th our time in the USA, think I’ll be passing on Binge as I really struggled to find anything I wanted to…

  11. What’s the picture quality like compared to Foxtel streaming?
    I recently watched Warrior on Foxtel. It’s a colour graded show with dark tones and at times looked horrendous. As Foxtel’s compression doesn’t have the colour range, you’d have smears of dark colours, banding across the screens many times.

    1. It was a bit patchy as I had a bit of a look at Bat Woman which is a darkly lit show and yeah wasn’t terrific, however that was mirrorcasting to my TV via Galaxy TAB A so that would have had a bit to do with it as well (Kayo was bad for that as well but thought I’d give this a shot anyway).

      Basically if you don’t have a TV with Android TV 7.0+ on it you can’t get an App on your Television, which didn’t surprise me as Kayo Sports has Apps for TV’s however for that my 2014 Samsung TV doesn’t as it’s deemed to old as it has to be 2017 and above (though Netflix, Stan and Amazon are fine on it, not Disney + though either).

  12. I signed up for the two week trial but will not be staying with it. There is a wide range of TV series available, but a limited number of seasons in each. For example, you can only watch 3 seasons of SVU (and very old ones at that). What is the point of spending $14/month and then not have choice? There are just too many gaps in their offerings to take this streaming service seriously.

    1. SVU is owned by NBC-Universal don’t know if they have all the rights to NBC-Universals library. 10 own the first run rights for Australia and I think that Amazon Prime/Hulu had an exclusive window for SVU (might just be in US though). That is probably why not full back catalogue.

      1. Amazon Prime had Seasons 1-7 up until recently, they are now gone and they now have Seasons 8, 9 and 10 only, they all Seasons listed from 1 up to 20 however when you click on any of the others you get: “This video is currently unavailable to watch in your location.”

  13. I was under the impression that there were 25 million Australians who are subscribed to Netflix… not 4 million streamers or people who stream content online in Australia…?

    1. Per Roy Morgan: “Netflix is the clear market leader with nearly 11.5 million Australians (57% of the population) now having a Netflix subscription in their household, up by 17.6% on a year ago.” (1 July 2019)

      1. As of 31 March, Netflix had 19.8 million subscribers in the Asia Pacific region (includes India, Japan) – from their results doco. I’d be sceptical of the 11.5 million figure for Australia.

          1. 14 million have access to netflix via about 5 million paid accounts (2020)

      2. “Netflix remains by far the nation’s most watched subscription television service, with 12.20 million Australians having access to it, an increase of 942,000 on a year ago.” (March 31 2020)

  14. I was intending to switch from my existing Foxtel GO subscription to Binge but since my favourite shows are now separated across both platforms I don’t see the point in switching if I can’t access what I want to watch. Binge would be a downgrade for me.

  15. Frustrating that they’ll simply pick and choose from HBO Max. A lot of Max originals are comedies geared towards a young adult audience, whereas the drama focus on Binge is clearly for the older crowd. If those Max shows are only gonna be on Foxtel, they’ll be dead in the water.

    1. @ Crash Matilda, if you look on Wikipedia not all HBO Max Originals are owned/distributed by Warner Media Internationally. Foxtel’s HBO Max deal only incudes shows owned by Warner Media. So if it is owned by say Lionsgate (Anna Kendrick’s Love Life) or ViacomCBS/Paramount (Grease: Rydell High) there is no guarantee that it will end up on Foxtel/Binge.
      See: https://tvtonight.com.au/2020/05/hbo-deal-a-final-brick-ahead-of-new-streaming-launch.html

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