Original Australian content - Stan first to market

James McGrath
By James McGrath | 16 February 2015

Stan has become the first subscription video on demand platform (SVOD) to develop Australian original content, with a Wolf Creek series and a political drama centreing around Lionel Murphy on the cards.

The SVOD player has lured John Jarrett back to play Mick Taylor in a six-part series described as a “compelling, psychologically complex and visually spectacular suspense series”.

The Wolf Creek series is headed up by writer/director of the Wolf Creek movie Greg McLean and Underbelly producers and writers.

Meanwhile, Q&A host Tony Jones will step behind the typewriter for a political saga centred around ex-high court judge and Attorney General Lionel Murphy, titled Enemies of the State.

Rake producers Peter Duncan and Ian Collie, and Gallipoli writer Robert Connolly are on board as well. It is also being planned as a six-part series.

Stan content director Nick Forward said the role of original content in luring new customers to the platform couldn't be understated.

“Original productions have always been part of Stan’s programming plans. Before we move to the commissioning stage, we are thrilled to be working with such talented local writers and producers to kick off the development slate,” Forward said.

He also said producers were keen to work with SVOD platforms, as they offered a far more creative brief.

“The opportunity to create world-class shows outside the constraints of the traditional TV schedule is a fantastic brief for any producer, and we look forward to working with the best local and international creatives to bring fresh and exciting stories to the screen,” Forward said.

The increasing popularity of SVOD has lured producers to start experimenting with more cutting-edge content, as the business model of SVOD platforms encourages several niche titles instead of mass-appeal hits.

Stan said the Wolf Creek and Enemies of the State deals were only the first of “several” deals to be announced in the coming months.

Last week head of Presto Sean James told AdNews that it had plans to commission local original content, and while Netflix has yet to announce any plans to do the same, it has commissioned original content in other markets and has recently spruiked original content as more cost-effective than licensing deals.

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