“Real competition” or “overkill”? Media buyers weigh in on Hubbl


Mediaweek asked media buyers about Hubbl’s biggest selling points and how it changes the landscape.

Media buyers have mixed thoughts on Foxtel’s new Hubbl device, with one saying it could be “overkill” while others welcomed its addition to the market.

The Foxtel Group launched Hubbl last week, aimed at bringing together paid and free streaming entertainment – including Netflix, Stan, Disney+, Prime Video, YouTube, Apple TV+, Kayo, Binge, Paramount+, and all free-to-air BVOD services – into one interface.

Kristiaan Kroon, chief investment officer at Omnicom Media Group, welcomed Foxtel’s new product and told Mediaweek it was a “fascinating integration.”

He added that it was the “first real competition to Samsung and LG around consumer behaviour in Hubbl Glass, a fascinating evolution in our marketplace.”

The Hubbl Glass is a TV with Hubbl and a built-in sound bar that requires only an internet connection and a power cord.

Hubbl Glass TVs on display

Melissa Hey, GroupM Australia and New Zealand’s chief investment officer, also believes the new device was built with consumers in mind. She is interested to keep an eye on the uptake.
“The immediate benefit will be that it helps consumers to navigate all streaming platforms in one place,” Hey said.

“With so many streaming platforms available in Australia, it can be a frustrating user experience to navigate between multiple platforms. I’ll be interested to see the uptake and the time it takes to build scale.”
For advertisers, Hey said that the opportunity will come when Hubbl achieves scale and has a better understanding of consumer behaviours on viewing content.

“This scale will be valuable and will help support all VOD platforms with showing the level of engagement on quality content,” she continued.
“Once it does have that scale, the future opportunities will be ad products specifically built for Hubbl. And, because it will be IP enabled, it will be interesting to see how it connects to commerce for advertisers.”

Hamish & Andy

Last week’s Hubbl launch on Sydney Harbour

But Murmur Group’s head of media and investment, Taz Papoulias, warned Hubbl could be “over engineering” and potentially “overkill” by dubbing the tech as “Australia’s newest transformative TV technology.”

Papoulias said that Hubbl’s appeal is in its ability to consolidate a range of streaming apps into a single interface and no longer have to open each app to find something to watch.

While he hasn’t found this to be enough of an issue to warrant needing Hubbl, Papoulias said the discounts available are a stand-out.

“By allowing Hubbl to handle all your billing for these services, you can bundle and save between $5 and $15 per month, depending on the number of services you bundle,” he explained, which is worthwhile especially if you are like me and don’t even know how many services you have, just the fact you have them all.”

“Final view point? If you have three or more subscriptions, it’s probably worth it. One or two subscriptions or apps, I would not bother.”
See also:
Hubbl – What we know so far about new streaming device launching Wednesday
See also: Hubbl already gives FTA prominence: Patrick Delany

Top image: Kristian Kroon, Melissa Hey and Taz Papoulias

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