Programmatic Lunch

Fox trials preloading movies on to your device before you pay

Alex Spencer

21st Century Fox, owners of the 20th Century Fox film studio, has teamed up with Ericsson and Telstra, Australia’s largest telecoms and media company, to create a content delivery solution that preloads movies onto users’ devices – before asking them to pay for the films.

The solution works by downloading the latest flicks, that match the user’s interests, in the device’s background and notifying them of the movies available on their device. These can then be purchased or rented and played either online or offline. It is currently being piloted for one month with a ‘closed number of Telstra, Fox and Ericsson customers’ – who have been given a mobile device with a trial app. Films being offered in the trial include Deadpool, The Revenant, and The Martian.

Hanno Basse, CTO at 20th Century Fox and managing director at Fox Innovation Lab, said: “Ericsson is a valued partner and has been integral to advancing the Fox Innovation Lab’s mission to develop cutting-edge mobile experiences. This pilot is the first step to developing future solutions that will see faster and easier delivery of our content right into the hands of our consumers.”

The solution leverages Ericsson MediaFirst’s cloud-based media store and its TV platform, as well as Ericsson’s delivery network.

It will use Telstra’s media network, using its LTE-B capability to pre-position content, and, as a result, will “have limited impact on overall network traffic with little to no addition infrastructure cost,” according to Telstra CEO Andrew Penn.

Penn added: “Our customers love entertainment content and are increasingly watching it on their mobiles. Running this pilot in collaboration with innovative partners is a great way for us to test and learn how we can improve the customer experience while at the same time achieving network efficiencies.”