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Neon (service)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Neon, marketed as NEON until 2020, is a subscription video on demand (SVOD) service offering a range of television shows and movies. The platform is a division of Sky Network Television Limited.[1]

History

Former Neon logo used from 2015 to 2020.
Former Neon logo used from 2015 to 2020.

In February 2015, Sky launched its Neon streaming service to allow New Zealanders to stream a range of HBO television shows including Game of Thrones, Crossbones, and True Blood. When Neon was first launched, Sky offered a 30-day free trial period for Neon, with normal subscriptions costing NZ$20 a month.[2] Sky had originally planned to launch Neon in 2014 but was delayed by systems bugs. Neon's February launch was timed to compete with the US-based streaming service Netflix, which launched in New Zealand in March 2015.[3]

In October 2016, a Roy Morgan poll found that 22,000 New Zealanders subscribed to Neon, which was outranked by the rival streaming services Netflix (264,000) and Spark New Zealand's Lightbox (128,000).[4]

When Neon first launched in 2015, it only offered a TV and Movies package worth $20 a month. In August 2018, Neon launched an additional TV-only subscription package worth $12 a month.[5] In September 2019, Neon replaced these two packages with a combined television and movies package for NZ$13.95 a month in order to compete with Netflix, Lightbox, and Amazon Prime Video.[6][7]

In October 2019, a Horizon Research survey found that 7% of more than 1,000 New Zealanders surveyed used Neon. The survey found that 59% used TVNZ OnDemand, 29% used Sky TV, 56% used Netflix, and 18% used Lightbox.[8]

In mid December 2019, Sky announced that it would be purchasing Spark New Zealand's streaming service Lightbox. In mid December 2019, Sky announced that it would be purchasing Lightbox with the intention of merging Neon and Lightbox into one combined streaming service in 2020.[9][10][11][12]

On 11 June, Neon experienced technical difficulties that caused users to be locked out of the app.[13] In mid-June 2020, Sky announced that Lightbox would be merged into Neon, with Lightbox app being replaced by a Neon app on 7 July 2020. The merged service retained the Neon brand but continues to use Lightbox's interface and incorporates content drawn from both Neon and the old Lightbox. Existing Spark customers can receive a NZ$9.95 discount.[14][15][16]

On 7 July, Sky formally merged the two streaming services, with the Lightbox app being revamped as Neon. The revamped streaming service allows users to stream on two devices, download films and shows onto devices, rent movies, and create user profiles.[17] Following the merger, there were reports about technical glitches including users being unable to log into the app and the absence of the watchlist feature. Neon responded that it would address those issues.[18][19]

On 23 February 2021, Sky reported that its total subscriber base for all of its services and platforms had risen to 990,000 including 154,000 former Lightbox subscribers, who had continued using Neon. Sky confirmed that one third of former ‚Äúhard-bundled‚ÄĚ Lightbox subscribers were using Neon. Sky TV also reported that the number of subscribers to its streaming services including Neon, Sky Sport Now, and RugbyPass had increased from 196,000 in the 2020 half year to 352,000 in the 2021 half year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand.[20]

In mid April 2021, Sky announced that it would be raising the price of its Neon streaming service to $15.99 a month, citing a growth in subscribers for its streaming services and declining revenue from its Sky Box subscriptions.[21]

Services

During its initial launch in February 2015, Neon was available on computers, iPhones, iPads and televisions that supported AirPlay. The service was later made available on Android smartphones and tablet computers.[2] As of 2020, Neon is available on a range of devices including newer Samsung Smart TVs, Panasonic Smart TVs, Sony Android TVs, Freeview devices, PlayStation 4, Vodafone TV boxes, Chromecast devices, iOS devices and Apple TV via AirPlay, personal computers and MacBooks equipped with Adobe Flash Player, and selected ioS and Android phones and tablets.[22][23]

Following the merger of Lightbox into Neon on 7 July 2020, the revamped Neon allows users to stream on two devices. It also has a download feature which allows users to download a maximum of five movies and 25 television shows onto mobiles and tablets. It also allows users to create five profiles and to add favourites to a watchlist. Neon also allows users to rent movies for a fee ranging between NZ$4.99 and NZ$25.00.[17]

Content

Drawing upon Sky's New Zealand-exclusive contract with HBO, Neon has exclusive distribution rights for several HBO television shows including Game of Thrones, Big Little Lies, Chernobyl, Westworld, His Dark Materials, Watchmen, and the movies First Man and Bohemian Rhapsody.[6][7][24][25]

Following the merger of Lightbox into Neon, Neon acquired the distribution rights to The Handmaid's Tale, Homeland, Outlander, and Breaking Bad for New Zealand.[17]

In early March 2021, Neon confirmed that it would distribute Zack Snyder's Justice League in New Zealand.[26]

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b "About Neon". Neon. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  2. ^ a b Pullar-Strecker, Tom (12 February 2015). "Sky Television's Neon to launch in hours". Stuff. Archived from the original on 16 November 2019. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  3. ^ Puschmann, Karl (17 February 2015). "Karl Puschmann: Sky TV's Neon fails to get with the programme". New Zealand Herald. Archived from the original on 14 June 2020. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  4. ^ Croot, James; Slabbert, Blayne (5 October 2016). "A guide to NZ streaming services". Stuff. Archived from the original on 8 June 2019. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  5. ^ "Sky's NEON launches, new, cheaper package". New Zealand Herald. 31 July 2018. Archived from the original on 13 April 2020. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  6. ^ a b Pullar-Strecker, Tom (4 September 2019). "Sky TV makes movie option compulsory with Neon but at a low price". Stuff. Archived from the original on 26 September 2019. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  7. ^ a b Keall, Chris (4 September 2019). "Streaming wars: Sky slashes Neon pricing ‚Äď how it stacks up". New Zealand Herald. Archived from the original on 26 May 2020. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  8. ^ "TVNZ's OnDemand ranks as NZ's most-used streaming service, according to new survey". 1 News. 28 October 2019. Archived from the original on 23 February 2020. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  9. ^ "Sky to supercharge its entertainment streaming service with purchase of Lightbox". Sky. 19 December 2019. Archived from the original on 21 January 2020. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  10. ^ Ensor, Jamie (19 December 2019). "Lightbox to merge with Neon after Sky purchase". Newshub. Archived from the original on 19 December 2019. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  11. ^ Pullar-Strecker, Tom (19 December 2019). "Spark sells Lightbox internet TV service to Sky TV, cost to viewers not yet known". Stuff. Archived from the original on 14 June 2020. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  12. ^ "Sky expected to merge Lightbox with Neon streaming service". Radio New Zealand. 19 December 2019. Archived from the original on 21 December 2019. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  13. ^ "Neon Nightmare: TV service appears to be down, users locked out". New Zealand Herald. 11 June 2020. Archived from the original on 26 June 2020. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  14. ^ "Neon ‚Äď A new look, 100% New Zealand owned and a new offer for kiwis". Sky. 2 June 2020. Archived from the original on 14 June 2020. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  15. ^ "Here's what you need to know about Neon merging with Lightbox". The Spinoff. 14 June 2020. Archived from the original on 14 June 2020. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  16. ^ Keall, Chris (11 June 2020). "No more free Lightbox for Spark customers". New Zealand Herald. Archived from the original on 11 June 2020. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  17. ^ a b c Downes, Siobhan (7 July 2020). "The new Neon is here: What does the Neon-Lightbox merger look like?". Stuff. Archived from the original on 7 July 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  18. ^ "Neon users frustrated by outages as Lightbox merger launched: 'What am I paying for?'". New Zealand Herald. 8 July 2020. Archived from the original on 7 July 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  19. ^ Forrester, Georgia (7 July 2020). "Streaming platform Neon has technical issues on first night after Lightbox merger". Stuff. Archived from the original on 8 July 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  20. ^ Keall, Chris (23 February 2021). "Sky TV profit jumps 234 per cent, price increases on table after June". The New Zealand Herald. Archived from the original on 12 March 2021. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  21. ^ Keall, Chris (16 April 2021). "Sky hikes the price of Neon streaming service by 15 per cent". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  22. ^ "What devices can I watch NEON on?". Neon. Archived from the original on 14 June 2020. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  23. ^ Plesa, Alexandra (30 July 2019). "Neon review: price, features and content". Finder.com. Archived from the original on 16 November 2019. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  24. ^ "HBO's His Dark Materials and everything else streaming on NEON this November". Flicks.co.nz. 25 October 2019. Archived from the original on 14 June 2020. Retrieved 21 November 2019.
  25. ^ Brooks, Sam (24 October 2019). "What you need to know before you watch Watchmen". The Spinoff. Archived from the original on 27 December 2019. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  26. ^ Croot, James (3 March 2021). "Neon's Justice League, Disney's Raya, new Godzilla among March's must see movies". Stuff. Archived from the original on 3 March 2021. Retrieved 3 March 2021.

External links

This page was last edited on 11 June 2021, at 09:28
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