Stan, the joint venture streaming platform launched by Nine Entertainment and Fairfax JV StreamCo today will launch in February. The platform will be ad free, with one fixed price, no additional tiers and no contracts. It's basing itself on international standards – not just the Australian market.
“The international landscape has set the bar. We don't see the Australian landscape as where we need to be. The bar we set for ourselves in content acquisition is to launch a world class platform and Stan will bring a proposition that Australian consumes haven't seen before,” StreamCo CEO Mike Sneesby said.
The development of Stan has been driven by three things, Sneesby told media today: simplicity to buy and use, entertainment for all the household and transparency on price.
It will be “around” $10 a month but will offer a free trial to hook people in.
Sneesby reckons there are already 1.5 million households ready to take up the platform today.
Australian Hollywood actress Rebel Wilson will star in the launch ads, which are being created by AJF Partnership and are being shot in Sydney this week, and Stan will be advertised and promoted across Nine and Fairfax media, with StreamCo likely to get "favourable rates" in media, but not a free allocation of media space.
It's not only Fairfax and Nine's TV, radio and traditional media assets that StreamCo will leverage. The digital assets and data sets they hold will also be key to connecting with potential customers. Stan is likely to be bundled with Fairfax subscriptions and other properties. It is also in talks with ISPs about potential bundling and bandwidth deals.
“The A-lister draw [of Rebel Wilson] and the massive media reach of Fairfax and Nine's marketing will make the launch mindblowing,” Sneesby said.
Stan will have exclusive rights to all seasons of Breaking Bad “for a couple of years at least” and will launch in line with the start of Breaking Bad spin off Better call Saul, which airs in the US in February and will be fast tracked for Australian audiences "as quickly as the technology allows" he told AdNews.
Despite strong hints over the February launch, Sneesby wouldn't give specifics.
Sneesby and StreamCo content and product director Nick Forward were reluctant to reveal any other deals for fear of competitors getting wind of the plans, but it had made a number of deals with US and UK studios and distributors, as well as home-grown Aussie partners to launch with thousands of hours of TV and movie content.
Sneesby said that it has focused content selections on what Australians are bit torrenting and what people in other markets are watching in SVOD.
Netflix is also slated to launch in the first quarter next year, and StreamCo will be hoping to get out to market before the rival service arrives, although Sneesby claimed that Stan's launch wasn't beholden to competition in the market, and welcomed other entrants to grow the market. He expects video on demand platforms to reach 40% penetration in Australia over the next four years, matching the uptake seen in the US.
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