It”s hard to be impressed with content providers, especially in the Australian market. Newspapers might be the worst offenders, putting up paywalls, blasting their digital assets with non-relevant display and banner ads, and all in all making it less than appetising to consume their content across their channels.
The only media outlet I am truly impressed with has to be Foxtel. From the sheer content they offer alone, especially when it comes to sport, Foxtel is well worth paying for. Throw in a heap of movies, TV shows that appear within hours of premiering in the US, and an array of news services, Foxtel offers great value for money.
The thing they really get right though, is digital.
Foxtel offers an array of mobile apps, all offered for free to existing customers that makes it so easy to enjoy their content when you”re not in front of your TV. This shows a great understanding of their market, where people are less likely to consume entertainment or media whilst sitting plonked in front of a TV, but rather like to watch and listen on our own terms.
First up is Foxtel Guide. This is a full program guide of all Foxtel shows playing now and 7 days in advance. Whilst this is nothing new, the app takes things to the next level. You can choose programs from the app to start recording to your IQ box at home! If you have multiple boxes, you can select which box for a show to record to, Series Link the program (meaning Foxtel will auto-record that show into the future on its own,) and even change the channel on the set top box from the app! Brilliant.
Next up comes my favourite app of all. Fox Sports Barclays Premier League Live. As a paying Fox Sports subscriber (an add-on to the basic Foxtel package,) I can live stream every EPL game on my iPhone or iPad. BRILLIANT. Given that there are usually several games being played at the same time, I love being able to watch my main game on the TV, and have a secondary match streaming on my iPad. Even better is the situation when I”m out on a Saturday night, and can cheekily watch some soccer action under the table on my iPhone!
Last up is Foxtel Go. Go gives you access to a bunch of Foxtel channels that you can actually watch live. It isn”t the biggest selection, but again it has a good variety of news, sports and entertainment, so if you are really board, you can watch something to keep you entertained.
There is a slightly annoying limitation to all the apps, that you can’t mirror the content to an Apple TV. I have no idea why they”ve blocked this.
Well done to Foxtel for really understanding their market, offering great value to their paying customers, and ensuring it”s easy to take and consume the content you pay for wherever you go. If other media providers learned from this, maybe they wouldn’t be scratching their heads wondering why so many people download Torrents instead of paying.