After months of speculation, Foxtel has finally confirmed full launch details for its next big hope in streaming, Binge.
Binge will offer more than 10,000 hours of local and international content at launch, including premium drama, lifestyle and reality series and movies. It’s expected this content library will expand to 20,000 hours within 12 months.
Speaking recently to TV Blackbox, Foxtel’s CEO, Patrick Delany stressed the success of Binge would hinge on its content.
“In order to be able to do a Kayo or the service you’re talking about, you’ve got to line all the content up and make sure you’ve got the right partners and the right content.
We’ve been doing that for the last 18 months.”
Foxtel recently renegotiated and extended its deal with WarnerMedia, ensuring Binge will be a worthy competitor against the likes of Netflix and Amazon. Subscribers can access a vast library of Warner content including premium drama from HBO, and much-anticipated Warner Bros.’ produced scripted originals from HBO Max.
Binge will also provide subscribers extensive access to content from some of the world’s biggest studios including, NBCU, FX, BBC and Sony. Along with more content from studio partners including ViacomCBS, Discovery, Fremantle, StudioCanal, ITV, EndemolShine International, Paramount, A+E, and all3media.
While Foxtel has never penetrated past 30% of the Australian population, the company now believes lost cost, more convenient offerings such as Binge and Kayo will allow it to target customers that never would have considered pay television.
At launch, Binge will feature many of the best and most talked-about shows in the world right now including Succession, Westworld, Big Little Lies, Breeders, The Plot Against America, and The Outsider.
The service will also feature the new Hugh Jackman series Bad Education and Mrs. America starring Cate Blanchett and Rose Byrne.
The Binge library will also include some all-time top-rated dramas and comedies like Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, The Office, Seinfeld, Modern Family, The Walking Dead, Chernobyl, The Wire, and Band of Brothers.
Classic comedies Friends and Big Bang Theory will not be available on Binge at launch, but will be arriving soon when existing contracts with Stan and Netflix expire.
Also coming soon are new titles including a reboot of Gossip Girl, The Flight Attendant featuring Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco and Ridley Scott’s upcoming sci-fi series Raised by Wolves.
More new titles coming soon include Trackers, House of the Dragon, Noughts and Crosses, and new BBC series White House Farm, a six-part factual drama based on real-life events.
Binge will feature an extensive collection of movies including the Fast & Furious, Jurassic Park, Mission Impossible and DC Universe collections. Plus, all-time great films from directors like Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino.
Acclaimed documentaries including David Attenborough’s Frozen Planet, will be available, along with Planet Earth I and II and Blue Planet II.
Reality titles include Real Housewives and Keeping Up with the Kardashians, while lifestyle favourites such as Grand Designs UK and Making It with Amy Poehler will also be available.
Kids programming on Binge will be limited at launch, but will expand quickly over the first year with popular titles from Nick Jr, WB and CBeebies.
Pricing for the service will start at $10 per month for a single stream SD account. Subscribers looking for HD content will need to spend $14 for two simultaneous streams, or $18 for four streams. It’s a pricing model that puts in line with Netflix and Stan, but higher than alternatives including Amazon and Disney+.
Customers can sign up for a two-week free trial from Monday at BINGE.com.au
Binge programming will not be available in 4K with Foxtel deciding to keep that technology for their premium pay-tv subscribers. Binge content will be available with closed captions.
Binge has been developed by the team that created the dedicated sport offering Kayo and will utilise the same back-end architecture.
Kayo users will feel immediately comfortable with the Binge interface with the design utilising similar fonts and menu icons as the sport offering.
Features of the interface include.
- BINGE Centres – the place to find out more about the shows and movies, with behind the scenes interviews, footage and information.
- BINGE Lists – users can save shows for later, rewatch a favourite or continue from where they left off.
- Discover – curated carousels powered by a team of experts, not just algorithms, to help users discover content by mood, theme, moments, Top 5’s and more.
The team at Kayo/Binge have developed their own encoding and compression technologies that will enable them to deliver a HD stream at between 3 and 4 megabits per second to ensure customers use less data and receive a more reliable stream on mobile networks.
At launch, Binge will be available on the web and optimised for Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge and Firefox browsers.
Apple users will have no trouble accessing Binge with dedicated apps available for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. Airplay streaming will be supported. (Requires iOS version 12 or above)
Android users won’t miss out with apps at launch for Android phones, tablets and Android TV. Chromecast will also be supported. (Requires Android OS version 6 or above)
Additionally, Telstra TV will be supported at launch, while a dedicated app for Samsung TV will be available soon. Apps for other brands of Smart TV’s are planned, and the company is exploring the possibility of developing apps for the next generation of PlayStation and Xbox devices
Announcing the service Julian Ogrin, CEO of BINGE said:
“BINGE speaks to the heart of what great entertainment viewing is about, something that is so good you can’t switch off. BINGE will provide permission to indulge in the shows you love and the shows you can’t get enough of; it’s entertainment that’s unturnoffable.
“This is a next-generation streaming service that we want to go beyond providing the best content by creating an emotional connection with viewers based on unapologetic entertainment pleasure, a place you can escape to for that precious ‘me time’.
We couldn’t be more excited to pull the curtain back and show Australia this incredible product.
“The time is right to unleash this new service providing Australians with the best in drama, lifestyle, reality and movies. With an amazing line-up of entertainment from the world’s best brands,
BINGE will have something for everyone, whenever you want to watch, on your favourite device. And with new content added daily, there will always be something fresh to enjoy.”