Look Out Netflix! Oz ‘Stream Co’ Is Coming
Nine Entertainment Co. and Fairfax Media announced “StreamCo” today, a joint venture to launch an Australian subscription Video-On-Demand (SVOD) service.
Stream Co seeks to be Australia’s answer to Netflix, which is said to be delivering to audiences here early next year, as appetites for internet TV spurt. A reported 200,000 Australians already subscribe to Netflix by using virtual private networks, despite the fact the service isn’t yet legally available here.
Rumours of the JV have been circulating for some time already and today the online streaming service was confirmed although actual content/series to be screened is still not confirmed.
StreamCo will boast a substantial catalogue spanning TV series, movies, kids and family, documentaries from a wide range of Australian and international studios, as well as content from Channel Nine.
StreamCo has concluded a number of cornerstone content deals ahead of its launch, and is finalising its technical infrastructure, Nine and Fairfax confirmed.
The on-demand, unlimited, service is expected to launch during 2015 financial year. It will be device agnostic – hitting TV screens, tablets, PCs and mobiles for “a low fixed monthly price.”
It will need to be $10 a month if it’s to compete with Foxtel’s Presto, Quickflix, while Netflix fee, too, is US$10.
The online service will be flexible with no minimum term commitment.
The news comes the same day Seven’s CEO also hinted at a new future platform, said to be formed in collaboration with Foxtel.
Video-On-Demand (VOD) is expected to grow significantly in Australia in the next decade with all media majors including Foxtel and free-to-air channels looking to get in on the act.
Nine’s says its TV background and understanding of Australian viewer preferences, will be complemented by Fairfax’s strength digital and subscription services.
StreamCo service will benefit from the combined marketing and cross promotional capabilities of the media duo.
Ex-Head of Corporate Strategy and Development ninemsn Mike Sneesby will lead StreamCo, as CEO. He has history in digital media and IPTV including the roll-out of a IPTV platform in the Middle East.
Sneesby will be revealing more details about the service in the near future, he confirmed today.
StreamCo will be owned 50:50 by Nine and Fairfax and the joint venture board will include each company’s respective CEO, David Gyngell and Greg Hywood.
Nine and Fairfax have committed up to $50 million each to the venture over a multi-year period.
David Gyngell, CEO of NEC, said: “the combination of our two businesses will provide the joint venture with unprecedented distribution and awareness. I look forward to building one of Australia’s greatest new media businesses.”
Fairfax Media CEO, Greg Hywood also talked up web streaming saying “SVOD is a proven business model overseas, and we look forward to offering this service to our subscribers, and indeed all Australians.”