Stan to ‘break even’ by 2019, despite imminent arrival of CBS All Access

Stan, the subscription video on demand service which is currently a joint venture between Nine and Fairfax, is still making losses, but will break even during the 2019 financial year, CEO of Fairfax Greg Hywood has claimed.

Hywood has also talked down the threat of CBS All Access and said Stan will maintain its market position.

Stan is in a ‘strong market position’: Hywood

Talking to investors today following Fairfax’s financial results, Hywood flagged Stan’s subscriber growth.

In June, CEO of Stan Mike Sneesby has announced the service had passed 1m ‘active’ subscribers, and has now set his sights on 2m. Today, Hywood said the number is now above 1.1m, with a 72% year-on-year growth in subscription revenue, helped along by the first price increase since the company launched.

Operating costs climbed 23% year on year, but Hywood noted there had been a 50% reduction in EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) loss between the first quarter of the financial year and quarter four. The actual loss number was not provided.

When pushed by investors on when Stan would hit the magic “break even” mark, Hywood said: “Stan break even is scheduled to occur some time in FY19. It hasn’t occurred yet.”

He also downplayed the threat of CBS All Access.

CBS bought local free-to-air network Ten last year. Since then, both Ten execs and those from CBS have confirmed its subscription video on demand service will launch locally by the end of the year.

Hywood, however, was not fazed, telling investors: “CBS All Access, look, if you look at where Stan’s at at the moment, it’s got a very, very strong trajectory of acquisitions, it’s in a very strong market position, and we expect that position to be sustained.”

Stan currently has streaming rights to a number of CBS programs including Madam Secretary.

Stan also has agreements with Showtime – a subsidiary of CBS – to stream programs such as Billions.


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