Australian streaming service giant Stan has signed a multi-year, content supply deal agreement with Paramount Pictures.
Subscription video is big in Australia with Telsyte reporting this week that there are an estimated 12.3 million subscriptions across the country – a country with a population of around 24 million. Netflix is the SVOD market leader in Australia with 4.9 million subscriptions, followed by pay-TV giant Foxtel with 2.8 million, and Nine Network-owned Stan with 1.7 million subscribers at the end of June.
Stan already has deals in place with MGM, Disney, and Lionsgate and so as a result the service is mainly an amalgamation of many (but not all) of the original series from Showtime, Starz, Hulu, The CW and some older BBC titles along with films from those aforementioned studios.
With the announcement this week that Australia will be one of the first international launch territories for the new Disney+ service in late November, obvious curiosity has been raised as to Stan’s future as Channel News indicates Stan’s Disney content deal, announced last December, will terminate before year’s end.
This new deal with Paramount makes sense to potentially shore up content supply when Disney (and Hulu) leave. Paramount Television’s “Looking For Alaska” will be the first Paramount-supplied series under the new deal to launch on Stan, premiering on October 19th while Hulu’s “The Great” will premiere exclusively on the service in 2020. The deal also means the “Mission: Impossible,” “Star Trek” and “Transformers” film franchises along with library titles like “The Godfather” and “Top Gun” will likely come to the service.
However it also raises more questions. CBS owns Ten Network Australia, rival to Stan’s owner Nine Network, and also closed a deal to acquire Paramount’s owner Viacom last week.
With that deal, CBS now controls a portion of Stan’s licensed content (namely Showtime and a good chunk of The CW) and should the new ViacomCBS or another company acquire Lionsgate (who owns Starz) and opt not to renew, Stan’s line up of suppliers could grow thin.
Stan, Foxtel, Telstra, Fetch TV, and supermarket chains like Woolworths and Coles are all currently battling to be a key long term local partner for the Disney+ service with Disney expected to announce that partner sometime next year.