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Netflix Competition, Stan Dealings Force Quickflix into Voluntary Administration

Sean Fang Fri, 29/04/2016 - 13:41

Quickflix has called in administrators Ferrier Hodgson as the original Australian streaming company goes into voluntary administration.

Once the market leader in all things streaming, and having followed the online disc renting business model of Netflix, the fortunes of Quickflix has changed dramatically following the introduction of Netflix into the Australian marketplace, a move which was already preceded by the arrival of Australian owned Stan and Presto.

The streaming fortunes of Quickflix has been hampered by the firm's lack of ability to pay the sometimes astronomical licensing fees required to acquire content. The company's subscription streaming service, while priced at a similar $9.99 to its competitors, lacks the range of titles that are available on services like Netflix, Presto or the Nine network backed Stan.

In a quirky twist of fate, it's actually rivals Stan that has made things more difficult for Quickflix to acquire the required funding, as Stan actually owns redeemable preference shares in Quickflix (which was transferred to Stan from the Nine Network, who purchased the shares from HBO in 2014).

"The existence of the redeemable preference shares in Stan's hands has clearly strangled Quickflix, and we have sought to negotiate for its restructuring in order to enable the company to go forward and secure additional capital," said Quickflix CEO Stephen Langsford.

But Quickflix is not calling it quits. Quickflix has sought the services of Ferrier Hodgson to restructure the company to be more competitive, with Langsford noting that the internal moves by the company has already allowed it to become cash-flow positive for the first time in March, and that 2200 new subscribers signed up just in the last week. The release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in April, available on the company's premium rental service, was also the most streamed movie in the company's history, Langsford noted.

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