Stan’s parent company Nine Entertainment Co is also the owner of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
For Stan, the first challenge for Stan will be to withstand the loss of Disney’s popular content from its own service. Stan had record sign ups over the summer period last year after getting access to Disney movies and launching new Australian original series Bloom.
While the 2019 financial year was overall a loss for Stan, the service has been profitable on an earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation and cash flow basis for every month since March.
This is good news for shareholders but after continuous speculation about the potential of a more significant agreement between the Australian service and Disney it is also an anti-climax.
Nine chief executive Hugh Marks told shareholders at the broadcaster’s annual general meeting last week that Disney was focused on launching their service with “clean air, as they should” and that there was no prospect of a deal any time soon.
Another potential tie-up with Stan could’ve been with Disney’s Hulu, but Marks watered down this speculation saying much of the content on that service was already being acquired, including through MGM and a recent deal with Paramount.
“Disney+ is a bit of a different product. Very family-focused … Stan certainly we tend to be broad appeal, families, men, women, older people, younger people, Stan has a range of content that appeals to different audiences so it’s a bit of a different proposition”.
This may be so, but Nine’s executives would be right to be wary of yet another disrupter in a growing crowd of options like 10 All Access, Kayo Sports, Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video.
Deloitte’s Media Consumer Survey 2019 found viewers were already confused about what content could be found on each streaming service and there is still no consensus about how many subscriptions households will be willing or able to afford.