Vodafone and Stan seal mobile deal

By James McGrath and Sarah Homewood | 23 February 2015
Better Call Saul - to air on Stan

Vodafone and subscription video on demand (SVOD) platform Stan have inked a partnership, believed to be in much the same vein as the Vodafone-Spotify deal announced last October.

The phone company announced the partnership this morning, but is keeping mum on the exact arrangement of the deal.

At a media briefing this morning CEO of Vodafone Inaki Berroeta said: “We will be releasing more information about the deal soon, we won’t be doing that today, but our intention is to make it available to most of our customers.”

Vodafone said it struck the deal as a result of noticing the appetite for video and music streaming on mobile devices, citing Australian Communications and Media Authority data showing almost one in every two Australians streamed video or audio content in the six months to June 2014.

The phone carrier also has an existing deal with Fairfax, and is hoping offering Stan's content will help with retention while adding new customers.

StreamCo CEO Mike Sneesby was also at the briefing and he explained that the deal has been in the works since before the streaming service's Australia Day launch.

“In any partnership obviously bringing together two components to make value is what it's all about, but to do that you have to have great alignment and from the start we saw a very clear strategy from Vodafone and obviously in those early days we kicked off discussions before we'd even launched into market,” Sneesby said.

While Sneesby wouldn't be drawn on the exact numbers of subscribers that are now using Stan, or any information surrounding mobile to desktop split or paid subscribers he did say that this partnership between the SVOD player and the telco will see the service gain access to a lot more Australians.

“We talked quite a bit about the research we did in market, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out there’s a demand for good quality content out there.

“It's really all about quality content at the right price point, and you partner that with the ability to bundle with services like Vodafone we really expect this to really make this kind of service available to a lot more Australians, a lot more quickly,” he said.

This deal for Stan means access to a potential customer pool of five million customers, although much will depend on the way the deal is structured.

Last October Vodafone struck a deal with Spotify whereby users would be able to grab an ad-free subscription to the service, normally worth $11.99 per month, as part of monthly and pre-paid subscriptions.

It is not known how much Spotify is paid by Vodafone for each customer signed up under the deal, and something similar could be in the works for Stan.

Vodafone is keeping quiet on the details of the deal, but it could include an arrangement whereby users could stream Stan content without data coming off their download limits.

News of the deal comes amidst a series of tie-ups in the SVOD space, the latest being a deal announced between US giant Netflix and Fetch TV to make the streaming platform available through Fetch TV, through iiNet, Dodo, and Optus.

Earlier today, Seven West and Foxtel SVOD joint venture Presto announced the platform would be available through select mobile phones.

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