Stan, The Streaming Service: What We Know So Far

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.


Comments

    Hopefully they can get the actual streaming side of things done well. Quickflix sucks because it's not able to deliver streaming bandwidth at peak hour at the same level as other options. I didn't mind that it didn't have as much content as other providers but the streaming consistency was dire. I also didn't like that they had the bulk of their new content behind additional pay walls.

    Look forward to seeing what Stan can bring.

      I could be wrong but I suspect this would most likely be an issue with your ISP than Quickflix

    Developed by incumbents in the industry? I think we can all predict right now just how crap this will turn out to be.

      @light487 Ive subscribed to Quickflix and have no issues with streaming bandwidth. Beats free to air and Foxtel any day

    The 'privacy' policy on their website doesn't inspire condifence at all. Sign up for the site, and get marketed to by 3rd party companies. No thanks.

    Also, no mention of HD, no real mention of content other than BB which everyone has seen, and no confirmed pricing.
    I'll wait and see...

    Last edited 05/11/14 12:29 pm

    Yeah, if it doesn't have the capability to stream HD (a la Foxtel's offerings), you're not competing (a la Foxtel's offerings). Foxtel's argument that Australia's Internet connections can't handle HD is rubbish, mine can (and does) as can many others.

    Very disappointed to see that Better Call Saul is being locked away in an exclusivity deal.
    Why isn't this viewed as Monopoly?

    Haha - that's hilarious. The service will be be a joke, the media offered for streaming will be a joke and it will be nothing but a dimly remembered afterthought within a couple of years. Meanwhile we'll all carry on using US Netflix and be very happy about it.

      Pretty much. Side note - the NL Netflix is better. Of the 19 regions I have access to (with reverse DNS, not VPN) I've switched through nearly a dozen and NL seems to have the best selection of movies. US is lacking. I suspect Netflix can't license the good stuff for US because of all the money changing hands with cable companies. Overseas where cable companies hold less influence and reach smaller audience, it makes sense for Hollywood/entertainment industry to maximise profits by licensing their stuff to Netflix.

      TL;DR Everybody note that Netflix US catalog sucks for movies, fairly decent for TV shows. Try unblock the other Netflix regions, specifically the Netherlands. Of all the regions I've tried so far, it seems to be the best for movies. PS if you haven't figured it out already, unblocking with a reverse DNS service is usually better than VPN. Only use VPN if you need security (why would you if just for streaming Netflix?) or need to try overcome ISP throttling you.

        If you have a US Netflix account, are you able to access NL material?

          Yes.. A Netflix account is global.. just depends where you are at the time when you log in.

        Can you do a TL;DR for your TL;DR?

          Switch your Getflix region settings to Netherlands.

    That's the attitude, great to see you guys (not all of you) shitcan the product before it even hits the shelves, while you sit on your backsides and illegally download movies and complain about the quality as well.

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