Australia’s Quickflix enters administration

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Australia’s brutally competitive streaming wars have claimed another victim, with Perth-based Quickflix announcing that it has entered voluntary administration.

The news is not totally unexpected as Netflix entered Australia in March 2015 and the market also has two large local streaming services – Foxtel’s Presto and Stan, owned by Nine Entertainment Co (NEC) and Fairfax Media.

Quickflix founder and CEO Stephen Langsford laid the blame squarely on Stan in a statement to the Australian stock exchange, claiming that its rival, which is also a shareholder, had prevented the company from raising fresh capital.

“Despite Quickflix being first to the streaming market and holding a leadership position in 2014, ongoing growth has required capital for continued investment in content and marketing,” Langsford said.

“Neither Nine Entertainment nor Stan have ever participated in any capital raisings to assist Quickflix’s growth and its ability to raise capital from any source has been constrained by the redeemable preference shares.”

NEC acquired HBO’s 8% stake in the company in July 2014.

Quickflix said it has appointed Ferrier Hodgson as voluntary administrators of the company after failing to come to an agreement with NEC on a restructure of the shares.

Quickflix is the oldest streaming service in Australia, launching in 2003 as a mail-order DVD distribution business.

However, the company has been struggling for the past year with falling customer numbers and strong competition from Netflix and others. The administration only affects the company’s Australian operations, not the New Zealand business, which is owned by a subsidiary.

Ferrier Hodgson said it intends to keep the Australian service running and that existing and new customers will not be affected. Quickflix had around 92,000 customers at the end of last year, down by 25,000 on the previous year.