What would it take to get you to stop downloading shows via BitTorrent or accessing Netflix via a VPN? How about a streaming service that costs less than $10 per month with access to new US shows as they become available across smartphone, tablet and TV-based streaming products? Meet Stan: the new streaming service for Australia, born out of StreamCo.
For those not familiar with StreamCo, it’s the joint venture between Nine Entertainment Co and Fairfax Media. In the interest of disclosure, Fairfax owns Allure Media, which publishes Gizmodo Australia.
The StreamCo partnership was created with a single aim: launch a streaming product that Australians will actually use.
StreamCo figured out that the reason people weren’t using Australian streaming services like Quickflix or Presto is because the product was either too expensive or didn’t have the content available that customers wanted.
Indeed in its own research, it found that half of pirates it surveyed would pay for the content they were downloading if it were available on a cheap and convenient platform.
With all this research and an industry-leading Mr Fix It in new CEO, Mike Sneesby (formerly of Cudo), StreamCo was able to create a streaming product called Stan.
Speaking with us exclusively this morning, Mike Sneesby said that Stan would not only carry the content Australians were desperate to watch, but also content that nobody else could carry in the local market.
Stan will exclusively carry the back catalogue of Breaking Bad in Australia when the service launches early next year, and it will also hold exclusive rights to the hotly-anticipated spin-off, Better Call Saul.
“Nobody else will have that,” he told us this morning. “Not Foxtel, not Netflix, not broadcast,” he added. “We make a deal that sees us put it onto Nine, but only if we say so.”
Sneesby added that the Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul deal is part of a larger Sony Pictures deal that will see new film and TV franchise exclusives coming to Stan every week leading up to the launch. The newly-minted streaming service will also have exclusives from other big international studios too, and while the CEO won’t be drawn on what those titles are just yet, he did reveal how they chose the targets.
“If it’s big on BitTorrent, if it’s big on Netflix, we wanted it for StreamCo in Australia,” Sneesby told us this morning. Those are the two big competitors for Stan in the local market, as Netflix gears up to launch the Australian version of its popular streaming service in the next few months.
Update: CEO of Stan, Mike Sneesby, has told us that the service will support 1080p HD streaming.
Stan will likely cost less than $10 per month in the Australian market, and will be sold without a contract and without ads. If you’re a Stan customer, you’ll get unlimited, ad-free access for about as much as you’re paying for a grey-market Netflix product right now.
The CEO added that he’s not concerned about so-called competition from the likes of Quickflix or Foxtel’s Presto, saying that those aren’t true streaming-video-on-demand services.
Right now there are around 200,000 people in Australia using Netflix before its official Australian launch, and probably even more getting access to content via BitTorrent. Sneesby said that he’ll be working on a massive marketing and education campaign in the next few months to fire Australians up about their new streaming service.
The Stan sign-up page went live today, and over the next few months you can expect to see TV and outdoor campaigns starring Rebel Wilson which will form part of that marketing and education campaign.
As far as platforms are concerned, Sneesby told us that Stan will be available on Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, as well as on Chromecast. An Apple TV app is on the way, but until then it’ll be the only streaming video service compatible with Apple AirPlay.
Would you use Stan? Yes? No? Tell us in the comments!
After months of maybes and maybe nots, Netflix officially announced today that it’s “heading down under”. It will also stream high-def content to Aussies and Kiwis, and even offer “4K [content] where available”.