Spark names Lightbox launch date

Spark Venures digital media head Simon Hoegsbro with Lightbox CTO Mike McMahon

Spark says its Netflix-style service Lightbox will launch at 12.01am on Thursday August 28.

Lightbox will let you watch all the movies and TV series you can like for a $15 monthly fee. Content will be streamed via a broadband connection, with options to watch it on a regular television.

Lightbox will be open to customers of all ISPs, not just Spark. It will compete against increasingly capable Australasian contender Quickflix, Sky TV's coming Netflix-style service (due to launch before the end of this year), Netflix US (which many directly access from NZ, with active help from ISPs like Slingshot and Orcon) and pirate content, among other "over-the-top" viewing options.

There will be no contracts, and a free 30-day trial on offer.

Kym Niblock was recently appointed CEO of Lightbox, which has a launch-year budget of $20 million.

During an Ask Me Anything session with NBR readers this afternoon, Ms Niblock detailed some of Lightbox' plans for the months ahead, and hinted at a scrap with incumbent broadcasters, whom she sees as playing by different rules — something she wants policy makers to look at.

NBR recently had a hands-on whirl with Lightbox. Check out our report here.

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