Following on from the announcement of a deal last month to provide HBO content to Australian streaming media service Quickflix comes the news that HBO have invested $10 million into the company. The investment gives HBO a 16% share in the company as well as a seat on the board.
Of all the companies to potentially invest in Quickflix, an investment by HBO is the most interesting. In recent months Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has been very vocal in saying that the greatest competition Netflix has in the industry is HBO. With the HBO Go service (available only to HBO cable subscribers in the US) building momentum in the US, they’ve established HBO as a premium destination for online content. HBO have a strong library of movie content, along with some of the biggest brands in scripted television from the past 15 years. It’s a powerful offering that has generated considerable consumer interest in the US.
With a significant investment in Quickflix and a seat on the board, HBO are clearly committed to establishing a commercial presence in Australia. While this diminishes the likelihood of launching the HBO Go brand as a distinct streaming service in Australia, it does pose an interesting future for Quickflix. HBO can deliver for Quickflix the experience and resources that it needs to evolve into a premium service. Of course, this doesn’t preclude HBO from making a greater investment in Quickflix in the future.
The investment by HBO into Quickflix is a positive move for all involved. There’s potential in Quickflix and while I’ve been disappointed in their offering so far, this deal with HBO is a clear sign that there is a positive future for the local streaming service.