Optus to close its Zoo and shutter Optus Now app

New content store on the way after March 27th death date

Australian mobile carrier Optus has announced it will close its Zoo website, mobile site and Optus Now app, and replace them with “ an alternative content store to be available from 27 March”.

Zoo offers a news portal of sorts, plus webmail and paid music, games and e-book downloads. The Optus Now app crammed that content into an app.

News that both are headed for the knacker's yard seems to have been made late last week and Reg readers have told your correspondent that shut-down notices are popping up on Optus subscribers' phones.

The carrier confirmed to The Reg that the service will die on March 27th, and pointed us to an FAQ explaining that unless content purchased from the service has been downloaded to a device by that date it will no longer be accessible. The Zoo webmail service will continue indefinitely.

A spokesentity from Optus PR team told us the company's “Digital Life business is focused on creating new growth opportunities through new technology” and that “Following a review of this business, Optus has decided to shut down Optus Zoo”.

The spokesentity pledges to “contact affected customers.”

Optus and parent company Singtel has long aspired to give subscribers services that result in revenue reaching their coffers, rather than bleeding away to over-the-top operations. Closing Zoo and replacing it looks to be an effort in line with that goal.

If Zoo's made a dent in the public consciousness, generated any Zeitgeist or won a legion of adoring fans, news of those phenomena have not reached your correspondent. Optus probably hopes whatever it tries next does better.

At least Optus is not alone in struggling to excite local mobile subscribers. Telstra recently closed its Big Pond music service, while Australia's third mobile carrier Vodafone turned to bundling Spotify and local newspaper outfit Fairfax Media subscriptions instead of building its own offerings. ®

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