Foxtel has revealed plans to update its popular iQ4 set-top-box to enable the device to work entirely via the internet.
The announcement was made as part of a Foxtel Group strategy day presentation, where the company updated the investment community on its recent customer growth and strategy to become “Australia’s most dynamic streaming-led media company.”
The strategy presentation confirmed that the future growth of the Foxtel Group would be driven by streaming, currently through its fast-growing streaming services, Kayo Sports and BINGE, and the opportunity for further growth through its recently announced live news aggregation streaming service, Flash.
The Foxtel Group also outlined a transition to a streaming-led future for Foxtel Retail following the recent launch of the iQ5 plug and play IP set-top box.
By 2022, new customers will be able to purchase the iQ5 set-top-box from a range of popular retail outlets. The simple plug and play set-up allowing customers to be streaming up to 50,000 hours of Foxtel content, including 4K content within minutes, without the need for cable or satellite installation.
This transition will be boosted later this year with a software update that will allow its widely used iQ4 set-top box to be IP-only, without the need for satellite. With the closure of the Foxtel cable network looming, the company has set itself the goal of moving its entire customer base to internet-connected devices over the next 18 months.
This transition, designed to strengthen Foxtel’s subscriber base and revenue, includes a future as a streaming aggregator of Foxtel’s content along with integrating a broad range of local and global streaming apps.
The IQ range of set-top-boxes already provides access to several third-party services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Vevo, YouTube, ABC iView and SBS On Demand. App support for Paramount+ and 10Play is also coming soon
Under the new streaming strategy, the Foxtel Group has set itself the goal of achieving the following in the next three years:
- 5 million plus subscribers, having reached four million total subscribers in FY-21, one million higher in the past 12 months.
- Approximately $3 billion in revenue with continued opportunities for margin expansion, supported by streaming revenue growth, continuing to slow the decline in residential broadcast revenue and ongoing cost transformation through digital growth and operational efficiencies.
- A capex to revenue ratio of 4%, having fallen from 14% in FY-19 to 7% in FY-21, to help underpin the Group’s continued strong cash performance of $274 million in FY-21 (EBITDA less capex).
Foxtel Group Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Delany, said: