August 6, 2014 Ron Sneddon

Slingshot – Cake and Eating It Too

Slingshot, NZ’s 3rd largest ISP, is pissed off  that TV networks have pulled an ad promoting its’ Global Mode service, which allows Kiwis to get Netflix for “free” (for “free” read become a Slingshot broadband customer first)

Slingshot’s  boss Taryn Hamilton complains TVNZ, Mediaworks and Sky needed to “wake up and smell the internet” after the channels decided pull the TVC for Global Mode.

Hamilton ranted “This is anti-competitive, undue censorship, and an example of old-school thinking,”

TVNZ countered “It’s simple really. It doesn’t make any business sense to promote a competitor’s service that encourages viewers to watch international programmes that we hold the exclusive rights to in NZ”.

And TV3 said  it had been advised Slingshot’s latest development to Global Mode may lead to a breach of copyright, and advertising that presented it as legitimate and legal was misleading, and may also be a breach of the Fair Trading Act.

Slingshot has always positioned itself as the little ISP that can – throughout its history standing up for the little guy – so its strategy of releasing Netflix services without paying for it, is right on the consistency button. Of course the company conveniently overlooks that it is essentially pinching someone else’s content rights.

But, hey that’s OK isn’t it?

Mr Hamilton is correct that Kiwis have been illegally downloading content willie nilly (if you know where to go that is) forever, so nothing new in being able to package up the practice and use it to encourage new customers. Not a lot of strategic thinking behind it really either.

One can’t help wonder though whether  Global Mode  and the fuss over it, is just an old fashioned marketing stunt, designed to get Slingshot a few cheap headlines and its boss a little more credibility as being a shape shifter in ISP land.









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