A launch event today unveiled Stan: an Australian streaming TV and movie service jointly developed by Channel Nine and Fairfax. What will it offer and how will it compete with already-here Quickflix, Fetch TV and Presto, not to mention endlessly-rumoured-to-be-arriving Netflix?
We've known about the StreamCo joint venture between Fairfax and Nine for a while, but today saw the official unveiling of the branding: Stan. The official explanation for that weird name? It's about "simplicity and a clean palette", and was partly chosen because it didn't have any tech associations. Righteo. (Executives also don't believe anyone will confuse it with the Eminem song.)
Like Netflix, Quickflix and Presto, Stan will offer unlimited streaming of programs and movies for a flat monthly fee. Shows in the initial batch will include content from Sony Pictures, with Breaking Bad and its yet-to-launch prequel Better Call Saul heavily emphasised. (Better Call Saul will be fast-tracked exclusively on the platform.) There's a claimed total of "thousands of hours" of viewing, though few other titles announced yet. (Despite Nine's involvement, it doesn't seem reality programs such as The Block or Big Brother will be showing up.)
What we also don't have yet is a fully confirmed price. At the launch event, actress Rebel Wilson, who will appear in the Stan marketing campaign, suggested it would around $10 a month (which would undercut all the current competitors), but the exact pricing hasn't been set. It will be a no-contract service, so you can sign on or off as you wish, and there'll be a free trial on the usual don't-forget-to-cancel model. Partnerships are also being explored with ISPs to offer options that won't chew through bandwidth, though no specifics were offered.
The launch date has been set as early 2015, probably by February to coincide with the launch of Better Call Saul; you can sign up on the site to be notified when it goes live.
Disclosure: StreamCo is a partnership between Nine and Fairfax. Fairfax owns Allure Media, which publishes Lifehacker.