Australian movie streaming player EzyFlix has closed eight months after its co-founder told SmartCompany he was anticipating “carnage” and “churn” in the local streaming market following the launch of US giant Netflix.
In a notice posted on the EzyFlix website on Tuesday, EzyFlix told customers its parent company Access Digital Entertainment had “decided to end the service offered on this site”.
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“If you have rented or purchased any movies or TV shows, these movies are no longer available on EzyFlix,” the company said.
EzyFlix did not elaborate on why the service has been shut down.
The closure of EzyFlix comes just months after US streaming giant Netflix launched Down Under in March and at a time when fellow Australian streaming provider Quickflix has also been under pressure.
Speaking to SmartCompany in December 2014, EzyFlix co-founder Craig White said the then forthcoming arrival of Netflix in Australia would benefit consumers and the industry more generally, suggesting users would switch between different providers.
But White did suggest there wouldn’t be unlimited room for players in the local streaming market.
“There’s going to be a great amount of excitement and then the carnage and then the churn,” White said at the time.
IBISWorld research, also released in December last year, estimated revenue from internet protocol television providers in Australia will grow by 14.5% over the next five years, while revenue generated by free-to-air and pay TV providers will be maintained, or in the case of free-to-air TV, decline.
This growth in the streaming sector is backed-up with research by Telsyte, released in July, that showed there are now 2 million active video-on-demand subscriptions in Australia.
According to the Telsyte research, Netflix, Stan, Presto and Quickflix are leading the market for paid subscriptions, together accounting for 90% of the market.
However, Telsyte also found Australian video-on-demand subscribers have an average of 1.6 subscriptions, in part because of the providers various broadcast rights to content and the widespread availability of free trials.
Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi told SmartCompany this morning “the battle for supremacy” in the local streaming space will ultimately be determined by the range of content the providers offer.
“Ultimately the model comes down to the content offering providers have,” Fadaghi says.
“For a small player that might not have what the consumer wants, it is going to be difficult.”
As the various providers jostle for greater market share, offering original content, as well as content for all members of the family, will become more important, according to Fadaghi.
“Netflix is already doing this with children’s content to lock people in while the next season of House of Cards is not available,” he says.
Fadaghi says retention of those customers will be the key to longevity.
“It’s about appealing to all members of the family and getting them to not disconnect their service,” he says.
SmartCompany contacted EzyFlix but did not receive a response prior to publication.