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Streaming service Stan to have ‘truly Australian character’, secures exclusive rights to Breaking Bad spin off

Stan Australian comedienne Rebel Wilson will front a new marketing campaign across print, online and outdoor to drive uptake of the joint Nine Entertainment and Fairfax streaming brand Stan, and revealed a content agreement with Sony Pictures.

Stan will offer a range of local and international programming to subscribers for a fixed monthly fee tipped to be around $10, with no minimum term commitment, and the company confirming it has secured the exclusive rights to Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul ahead of a tipped February 2015 launch date, to coincide with the latter show’s US launch.

“(Stan) is really about simplicity and a clean palate”, said Mike Sneesby, CEO of StreamCo.”We tested a lot of different names and different categories. We wanted to move our name away from that technology platform of being a ‘view’, a ‘flix’, or a ‘tube’.

“We wanted to move to a brand name that consumers could actually associate with and actually have a character with. Stan is not going to be a character in itself but a brand that will build its own character in being truly Australian.”

Sneesby argued the name, created by creative agency AJF Partnership, passed the “ex-boyfriend test”. “As our agency said it passes the ex-boyfriend test in that no one sort of sits there and goes ‘my ex-boyfriend Stan is a real arsehole’,” he said. “It actually tested really well in the focus groups as effectively a clean palate.”

The company also confirmed a major content partnership with Sony Picture, which owns the rights to shows like Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, and told Mumbrella after the press conference this morning that Wilson’s recognition combined with the reach of Fairfax and Nine could challenge the likes of Foxtel’s Presto and US streaming giant Netflix, particularly given the $100m cash war chest the two had put in and its extensive consumer databases.

“We will have the strategic support of Nine and Fairfax which is difficult to put a value on,” he said. “We will be buying media but there will be some discounts in how we buy that media that will give us some advantages.

“There will be some advantage also around our databases. I mean Ticktek’s database is enormous as is Fairfax Media’s database. If Netflix could arrive in Australia with access to millions of Australian’s email databases that they could partner with they would be very happy.”

“It is part of (our strategy). It is part of the broader media value that we have got.”

StreamCo would not comment on its price or official launch date. “We are not announcing the launch date but we are well on track and very comfortable with how plans are progressing,” he said.

“There are things that our competitors are just as eager to know as yourselves and that is exactly when we launching and exactly what is our price point. Those are two things that we are going to keep under wraps for now.”

During her presentation Wilson had suggested StreamCo would have a $10 price point, but Sneesby told the room: “I can tell you we haven’t nailed down our consumer pricing yet, but again our pricing will be around the $10 price point but the exact pricing is to be determined.”

In August, Nine Entertainment announced a deal with Fairfax Media where each would inject up to $50m into the SVOD venture, including marketing collateral across their portfolios. At the time Nine CEO David Gyngell claimed the market for streaming could be as high 4m Australian consumers by 2020.

“We believe you have to move fast, you are aggressive and have good content pipelines. There will be two to three players in this space,” said Gyngell in August. “People want to buy this. I believe between now and 2020 there will be between three and four million people subscribing to these services. So are we good enough to be in the top two or three in this country? Hopefully we are and then we have a business which makes some money.”

As Mumbrella revealed yesterday, the SVOD market is about to heat up in Australia with US online giant Netflix appointing creative and social agencies ahead of a major $20m Australian marketing push while Foxtel’s Presto is also ready to ramp up with CEO Richard Freudenstein last week dismissing its online competitors and confirming it would have an announcement “soon”.

Nic Christensen

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