Telstra to invest $100m in video distribution

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Telstra to invest $100m in video distribution

Consolidates media assets.

Telstra has revealed plans to invest $100 million over four years in the video distribution capabilities of its network.

The investment was announced as part of a restructure of the carrier's media businesses - encompassing Sensis, elements of BigPond, IPTV and Foxtel - which will now fall under a single digital media division.

CEO David Thodey told an investor day briefing in Sydney today that building network differentiation was key to the carrier's content strategy.

The upgraded "digital media distribution capability" would make Telstra's network more attractive to content producers, getting their content out to consumers no matter what device they used to consume it.

"It's about how you use the network with content to create a dedicated experience," Thodey said.

"We carry a lot of video across the network and therein lies the differentiation - rendering content across multiple screen types."

Thodey said Telstra's media strategy was not to be a content producer but rather a distributor.

Aside from the distribution network, it expected to make more money from on-demand and subscription services sold to consumers, based on the content products.

Thodey said the $100 million investment would go towards bringing together an existing content distribution network and digital video network in hopes of making the combined entity more "sophisticated".

Pulling the assets together would bring a "dedicated focus with one leader", he said.

A spokesman for the company was not able to immediately clarify what new technical capabilities the consolidation would bring. Though other industry leaders have previously criticised Telstra for lack of multicast capability on its customer network.

Thodey said that the NBN was irrelevant to the distribution network investment.

"The NBN is a long way away - two to three years before it really ramps [up]," he said.

"We have a very strong content distribution capability today. Whether the NBN is there or not is not relevant".


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