It’s been a big week for local streaming service Stan after it announced it was ordering more than 30 new, original shows and had secured a content partnership with U.S. entertainment heavyweight NBCUniversal. It’s a lot to keep up with but here’s what it’ll mean for Aussie streaming and your library in the coming months and years.
What has Stan announced?
Stan revealed two major announcements this week and it’s a sign of good things to come for local, original content.
On August 24, Stan committed to expanding its local and internationally-produced original offerings, suggesting it would ramp up to more than 30 productions a year over the next five years.
“As part of our strategy to bring the world’s best content to Australians, we will shift greater investment into Stan Original productions through our local and international partnerships,” Stan’s CEO Mike Sneesby said of the announcement.
Five original productions are already in the works, including Eden, an eight-part mystery drama set in Byron Bay, Bump, a 10-part drama following a teen pregnancy, as well as a four-part true crime docuseries on one of Australia’s worst serial killers called After The Night.
There’s also two more involving the duo behind the Bondi Hipsters. Dom and Adrian: 2020 — a comedy special about the hellfire 2020 has been — as well as an unnamed feature film directed by Christiaan Van Vuuren, one-half of the duo.
It’s expected more will be announced in the coming months as it works toward that potential 30-production promise over the next few years.
Dr Marc C-Scott, a screen media lecturer at Victoria University, explained it was great news for Australia’s film and television industry but that Stan benefited greatly too.
“It’s good for local content production, but also, Stan needs a point of difference and so having local content [is a selling point],” Dr C-Scott said to Gizmodo Australia in a phone call.
“They just can’t constantly keep on relying on … global studios to provide content for them.”
But more work needs to be done in order to ramp up the local industry. Dr C-Scott said the announcement might be enough to encourage other streaming services to focus on it too.
“Having one streaming service [invest in local content] isn’t gonna fix it. It needs to be a broader industry discussion and I think that’s definitely underway,” Dr C-Scott said.
“But this is definitely a step in the right direction.”
Adding to the announcement, Stan also secured what it’s calling a ‘landmark deal’ with U.S. entertainment giant NBCUniversal.
The deal means Stan will have exclusive access to content made the U.K.’s Sky Studios as well as NBCUniversal International Studios and any Peacock content produced by Universal Studio Group or DreamWorks Animation TV.
Dr C-Scott speculates this might be NBC’s way of seeing how the content fares in Australia before considering whether it will launch its own service, Peacock, locally — something Disney did with its 2018 Stan deal.
“Whilst NBC Universal have Peacock only in the U.S., it’s highly likely that soon it will get launched in Australia. When I say soon, it could be 12 or 18 months away,” Dr C-Scott said.
“Stan got the [Disney] content but it was a perfect opportunity for Disney to, sort of, test the waters in Australia and NBC has probably seen that.”
For now, however, Stan has said it forms a multi-year partnership deal so it’s expected the content will remain for more than 12 months at least.
What will my Stan library look like?
While it all sounds like exciting stuff, most of us will just care about what this means for our Stan libraries. That’s ultimately what keeps us with a particular streaming service over another.
With the original production announcement, it’s really only those five we’re privy to right now. Eden, Bump and After The Night will all be exclusive to Stan once they’re eventually released as will the remaining productions to come out of the announcement.
It’s the NBC deal that will change up what we will see in the more immediate sense. Some of those upcoming titles will include:
- Brave New World
- Dr. Death
- Rutherford Falls
- Saved by the Bell
- Battlestar Galactica
- One of Us is Lying
- Lady Parts
- Gangs of London
- I Hate Suzie
- Norman Picklestripes
- The Christmas Letter
- The Tiger Who Came to Tea.
Of course, it also means the classics will stay, or be added, to the service too. Some of those include The Office, Will & Grace, Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock.
Stan’s announcements might be enough to cement its position in our future because, as Dr C-Scott predicts, there isn’t enough room in Australia for all these streaming services to co-exist.
“We can’t have as many streaming services as we have, I don’t think, without any casualties,” Dr C-Scott said.
“2021’s going to be interesting.”