Since Binge launched late last month, users have been pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of 17 Foxtel channels, broadcasting in real time.
These linear channels is a great inclusion, unable to be matched by rivals including Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+ and Disney+. Starting at $10 you get all the streaming titles plus entertainment channels including FOX Showcase, BBC First, FOX One, Arena, BBC Earth, History and more.
TV Tonight asked Binge to elaborate more on the linear channels, including whether viewers can access Foxtel titles not available in streaming.
Q: Linear channels is a great offer in Binge, why has this not been highlighted in marketing? Will the number of channels change?
A: “Our focus is on demand and being able to watch anytime, anywhere, that’s our content proposition and that’s how we will be marketing content. Linear channels are a small part of our offering and reflect content deals we have; our focus is on demand ad free content – being able to watch a show or movie anywhere, anytime.”
Q: Can viewers watch all shows on linear channels Live in AEST or will you black some titles out? If you black them out, are they replaced, or these are literally black screens?
A: “We will continue to evaluate our plan for channels, at this stage there are no plans to black content out but we are still working through this strategy.”
Q: Binge has spoken about making all episodes, all seasons available for the shows it has rights to. Yet some titles such as Mrs. America, What We Do in the Shadows etc do not have all episodes available. Law & Order SVU has around half the seasons. Why are some shows delayed?
A: “In terms of having every season available, our content strategy for boxsets of seasons versus every episode ever made will vary depending on genres and shows. We know that for lifestyle and reality, viewers want the latest so that is what we prioritise – the latest and freshest. For drama and comedy, where there is a multi-season story arch, we endeavor to license for completeness and we have complete seasons available for the majority of these series. We will continue to add episodes and seasons.
“We have more content dropping over the coming months including more content added in procedurals specifically, but for a long running franchise like Law and Order SVU where 20+ seasons exist, we will prioritise a selection rather than every episode ever.”
Q: Does Binge wait for Foxtel to programme as linear broadcast before content is available?
A: “Binge has over 10,000 hours of curated content. Our team make decisions based on a variety of factors as to when a show is scheduled. This includes data insights, marketability, programming priorities and how we feel a show is suited to the market at particular times. The availability of content from our partners is also a factor. We are also making decisions in these early days to give content the best chance to find an audience particularly with so much content available at launch, and more coming. Our goal is to get all of our content the maximum audience and reach possible, so awareness and visibility is key.
“Many streamers also drop weekly, for example The Mandalorian on Disney+. You might also see us wait to market/promote whole seasons driving the bingeing behaviour. There are no hard and fast rules, we will evolve the strategy and iterate to serve the streaming audience.”
Q: Does Foxtel Group have exclusivity on HBO Max titles in Australia?
A: “Yes, the Foxtel Group has exclusivity on Warner produced HBO Max scripted titles in Australia. Obviously, HBO Max is sourcing from other content producers which we’ll assess on a case by case basis pending what’s available in this territory.”
Q: What older movies (pre 1970) are available?
A: “At launch there are over 800 movies on Binge and we will be adding new titles regularly. There’s the all-time greats, blockbuster franchises, comedy favourites and a great family movie selection. We have a number of movies from the 1970s, a small number pre 1970 which we will be adding to.”