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Transparent most popular show on Stan despite lacklustre preview ratings on Nine

Sneesby

Sneesby

Amazon Prime series Transparent has been the most viewed show on new streaming joint venture Stan since the platform’s official launch on Australia Day, its CEO Mike Sneesby told Mumbrella.

His comments came after Nine presented a special screening of the first two episodes of the US show, which tells the story of a Los Angeles family following the discovery that their father Mort is transgender, last night at 10pm and 10.40pm which drew a disappointing 178,000 viewers and 130,000 viewers tune in respectively, putting it fifth in the timeslots.

However, Sneesby dismissed it as having run in a competitive late night timeslot, adding: “Our goal with Transparent wasn’t about the ratings. Our goal was to ensure that a program that is exclusive to Stan that Australians got the opportunity to hear about.

While declining to reveal subscriber figures Sneesby said he was happy with the takeup of the new service so far, saying: “We’ve been rapt with the response, it’s well, well beyond our expectations in terms of putting a new product and brand into market.

transparent“Even better than that people aren’t just coming on and having a small sniff around, we’re seeing consumption on the platform grow every single day. Obviously subscribers are growing but also the consumption per subscriber is also growing which means people are finding more and more content.

James Bond movie Skyfall is currently the second-most watched show on the platform. Stan holds the exclusive streaming rights to the James Bond series of movies.

“Generally speaking because of the variety you expect television programmes to outweigh in terms of the volume of streams,” Sneesby said.

Breaking Bad grabbed third place on the list.

“With the hype building around Better Call Saul there are a lot of people coming back to watch what they haven’t seen or refresh before Better Call Saul hits our platform on February 9,” Sneesby said.

It had been expected would launch around then to tie in with Better Call Saul’s premiere, but Sneesby argued the earlier launch date of Australia Day allowed the platform some breathing space ahead of the premiere of its tent pole show.

“We always had Better Call Saul as a key date. It was a real target for us making sure consumers could access that. We also felt being an Aussie grown streaming service made by Aussies for Aussies launching on Australia Day seemed a fitting thing to do,” he said.

Stan“We targeted that date with the view if we could be out on Australia Day and give ourselves a bit of leeway before Better Call Saul comes to air it would be a great result.”

When quizzed if the earlier launch date was about getting more secure in market ahead of the launch of rival Netflix at the end of March Sneesby was coy, saying the platform was focused on delivering the right content to its consumers and not concerned with its competitors.

“In terms of the competition, obviously a huge amount of respect for Netflix and what they’re planning to bring into the market and our other competitors, we really just focus on bringing the best service we possible can, doing the right content deals, there’s a whole range of new deals coming through the pipeline. It doesn’t stop with the launch,” he said.

While Seven West Media chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette told Mumbrella he believes the streaming market, which currently includes Foxtel and Seven West Media’s joint venture Presto, Stan, struggling Quickflix, and the forthcoming entrance of US giant Netflix, would eventually be whittled down to just “two serious players”, Sneesby said he believes there is room for multiple players.

“It really depends on how the market share shapes up. I don’t think there’s a one answer – there’s room for two, there’s room for three or four. There is room for multiple players if those players can maintain their fair share of the market, it doesn’t work in a situation where a player falls off the pace and can’t hold their market share,” he said.

“Realistically, the market will dictate, consumers will dictate. If you have the right content and consumers love what they see and they get value for money for the service you’re providing, then you should be able to have a fair share of the market and if you can do that you can be a player in the space.”

Miranda Ward

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