Local Streamer Stan Tops 1 Million Subscribers
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It was a jolly odd way to reveal a significant milestone for Stan, the streaming video joint venture between Fairfax Media and Nine Entertainment.
In a story about new offering from Stan, published Tuesday reported in an offhand way that the venture now had a million subscribers. In fact more than that figure - here’s what was said in the story.
“Streaming service Stan has commissioned two new Australian series and a Christmas special, having just surpassed one million active subscribers.”
That is fact significant - a rise of is around 70,000 from the figure given for February in a presentation in early May from Fairfax CEO, Greg Hywood. He said about the achievement at Stan:
“Growing Stan’s active subscribers to around 930,000 (as at February) in just over three years”
That’s an increase of 7.5%, a figure you’d think was worth boasting about, especially as Hywood said Stan had 930,000 subscribers at the end of the December half year.
So no growth in the six weeks to the interim results release in February, and then a surge in the next three and a bit months.
Will the million figure be the one given for June 30 when the full 2017-18 results are released in mid August?
A million is around 4% of the entire Australian population and roughly 6.3% of the working population aged 15 to 64. That is a significant achievement. It’s also close to the number of people who are subscribers to the Telstra TV product. It is far better than the now closed rival Presto service that Foxtel and Seven West Media tried and closed, losing over $150 million on it.
But we still don’t know any detail about Stan’s finances and trading position - is it now washing its face (that is, making a profit before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation), what’s its revenue and how much have Fairfax and Nine sunk into the venture.
Surely this is a figure that should have been boasted about in a release to the stockmarket and not thrown away in a minor story about new content. Or doesn’t Fairfax think a million subscribers (and Nine for that matter - there has been no statement from that company either) for the number 2 to Netflix, is worth boasting about?
Investors noticed the upgrade - Fairfax shares rising 2.1% to 71.5 cents and Nine shares were up 1.7% at $2.39.
Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.
At the AFR he was a finance writer, Finance Editor, News Editor and Chief of Staff. At the Nine Network he was supervising producer of Business Sunday for more than 16 years. He has also written for other online and analogue print publications here and overseas.