Foxtel turns gun on Stan in streaming war of attrition

A year is a long time in the world of video-on-demand streaming.

This time last year, Foxtel faced an existential threat after shutdowns around the globe cancelled sporting events. This, in turn, prompted a huge number of subscribers to cancel their Foxtel subscriptions, culminating in hundreds of Foxtel staff being made redundant in a bid to cut costs and stay solvent.

Since then, Foxtel has fought back hard.

First, Foxtel outbid streaming rival Stan for exclusive rights to Warner Bros, WarnerMedia, HBO and HBO Max content. In turn, Foxtel bolstered its exclusive line up, whereas Stan lost various WarnerMedia programs from its platform.

Stan’s troubles were then compounded in June when it also lost an exclusive deal with ViacomCBS to stream Showtime content, thus stripping it of more content.

Second, Foxtel launched its Binge streaming service, which has proved highly successful. The number of Foxtel paid subscribers rose by 12% year-on-year to 3.314 million in the three months to December 2020, with both Kayo and Binge experiencing explosive growth.

Specifically, Binge added 431,000 paying customers in its first 7 months of operation in 2020.

Now Stan is the one whose future is looking precarious. Stan boasts about 2.3 million active users at present, while nearly 150,000 of them also have a Stan Sport subscription. Nine Entertainment Company’s CEO Mike Sneesby also admitted that Stan is now ‘consolidating’ in the post-Covid environment after its Stan Sport subscriber numbers came in lower than expected:

“We’ll be building on that cost out program and making sure we right-size our cost base, focusing on growth, but really looking to the long-term opportunity and making sure we don‘t become complacent about the strength of our financials.”

My family has basic subscriptions to:

  • Netflix;
  • Foxtel Now (primarily for news);
  • Amazon Prime;
  • Stan; and
  • Disney+.

Out of the above, Stan’s and Disney’s offerings are by far the weakest with Netflix and Amazon providing the best value.

Stan desperately needs exclusive content to bolster its catalogue and give people a reason to subscribe. Otherwise, it faces a difficult future in the crowded video-on-demand streaming market.

Unconventional Economist


  1. Disney is great
    Especially for kids big and small alike
    Ted Lasso!
    Wish we could get Britbox so I could watch the latest instalment of BENT. COPPERS.
    We also have Kayo at 5/m

    Stan we have for kids and Billions and The Flash though god I hope that ends soon

    Horses for courses, I mean you have Fox for news!?

    • Disney is great. It also just added Star (20th Century Fox content).

      I’ve re-watched some Wes Anderson classics; some Arnold classics like Predator and some of Kurt Russell’s finest work (Big Trouble in Little China and Tombstone). It’s the one I’d keep.

      I also have Netflix, Amazon and Apple TV.

      • BubbleyMEMBER

        Kurt Russell’s movies have aged well (some don’t)

        Big Trouble in Little China is still loads of fun all these years later.

  2. BubbleyMEMBER

    I tried Amazon Prime a while ago and found a lot of the content was patriotic American ra-ra war movies.
    Think I cancelled the trial after about 2 weeks.

    • TheLambKingMEMBER

      Amazon Prime for the free delivery – gold during lockdown – the video content is just a bonus (and it has The Expanse)
      The kids watch almost nothing besides Star Wars content on Disney+, youtube & BrickMasters.
      I have foxtel for the AFL & Cricket and the IQ box.

  3. Someone ElseMEMBER

    Wow! Much subscription. What’s the total monthly cost, if you don’t mind me asking?

    • I think it’s ‘mostly’ related to his Macrobusiness site and so is tax deductible.

  4. MathiasMEMBER

    I dont watch any of em.

    I dont watch TV.

    I mostly just watch youtube ( and youtube alternatives because I dont like its monopoly ).

    If I feel like watching a movie ( which I would guess I do once per week ), I just download it off pirate bay ;p

    … or perhaps I shouldnt be admitting that? lol

    The fact I subscribe to Macrobusiness is a really big deal for me, because I dont subscribe or pay for anything. Im a real tighta$$. I grow my own food rather then buy it at the shops. I dont like spending money.

    Why do I subscribe to MB then? Because ontop of the content ( which I think is brilliant ), I support what MB is trying to do. I support the people. I support the ambition. Primarily, I support the cause ( and secondarily, I enjoy the content ).

    Australias dying. There arent many people left fighting the good fight. I try and support what little Australia has left.

    My favourite was when Leith took on that Migrant Lobby woman… funny as hell…

    I dont think Im smart enough to be a politician ha ha. Im too honest ;p

    • BubbleyMEMBER

      Nah bro, Foxtel is owned by the loathsome Murdoch’s News Corp.

      They produce the incredibly right wing biased Sky News and own 71% of Australia’s media. Its too much power concentrated in one persons hands and Murdoch has no compunction about abusing his influence.