Home & Office

Online movie streaming launch delayed by software, Google: Telstra

Telstra CEO David Thodey has said that the launch of Foxtel's movie streaming service Presto was delayed due to issues with software integration and the removal of a Google product the company had relied on.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

Foxtel's first major foray into online streaming for movies was held up from its launch in 2013 due to software integration and Google pulling a product that Telstra had been relying on, according to Telstra CEO David Thodey.

Image: Screenshot by Nic Healey/CNET Australia

Foxtel, the pay television company that Telstra holds a 50 percent stake in, announced in September 2013 that for AU$25 per month, people could sign up for Presto and access all seven of Foxtel's movie channels on Mac, PC, and iOS and Android devices.

The company said it would be launched later in 2013, but, as of February, the website still lists the service as "coming soon".

At Telstra's half-year results announcement today, Thodey said that the streaming video on demand service was being worked on by a team within Telstra built on a "leading-edge software platform with Ooyala at its core".

Telstra initially invested AU$35 million into US-based IPTV company Ooyala in 2012, and increased its stake in the Ooyala business in the last six months of 2013 for an undisclosed amount.

Thodey told investors today that the delay in launching the service came down to software issues, and Google removing a product Telstra had relied on.

"It is late, and it related to two things. One was the integration of a number of different software products to really give this type of customer experience we want to give [and] one of the interfaces Google was providing us was pulled."

Telstra had since moved to an "option B" that would allow the company to keep developing the Presto platform. Later, he told journalists that he believed it to be an issue with an Android driver. ZDNet has sought clarification from Telstra on the matter.

Thodey said that the launch of Presto is "imminent", but would not provide a date of the expected launch. It comes as Australia's video on demand streaming services are still in their infancy. While Quickflix aims to fashion itself as a local version of Netflix, rumours persist of the US giant's potential launch in the Australian market along with Hulu. At the same time, Foxtel is positioning itself to lock up much of the US content exclusively for Foxtel, including HBO shows like Game of Thrones and even Netflix's own content in House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.

Editorial standards