CNet is one of my favourite sites purely because they provide us with the information on what’s happening with Australian streaming services. So they’re great, but March’s streaming highlight isn’t every episode of Star Trek, but the ability to watch Mad Max: Fury Road as of March 2nd, also on Stan. It probably won’t win Best Picture at the Oscars tomorrow, but its nomination is a credit to just how great it is. And I’m not even a fan of action movies. I’ll go through highlights of all the services below.
Streaming licencing in Australia is a strange thing. The week after Netflix stopped Australians from accessing their US site using VPN blockers, Stan has done a deal that makes their streaming service more attractive.The CBS corporation, which owns the US networks Showtime, CBS and the CW, has inked a deal with Stan that grants the service exclusive streaming rights for shows including Penny Dreadful and The Affair as well as shows that are already available on the service such as Dexter and Californication. Rather than doing deals over individual shows (Penny Dreadful and The Affair are currently available for streaming on Presto), corporations and studios are increasingly making blanket licensing deals with streaming services. In addition to the current Showtime catalogue, this deal gives Stan exclusive access to 2017’s Twin Peaks reboot, as well as CBS shows including Elementary and Reign from CBS and the CW respectively. Shows that are currently available on other streaming services will move over to Stan when their current licences expire.
For Australians who are now limited to the Netflix ANZ catalogue, this makes Stan a more attractive streaming service. Stan has been far more consistent when it comes to acquiring shows, as Netflix is now focusing on creating original content. Netflix is set to double its 2015 output of original programming in 2016, and in his interview with Alan Sepinwall of Hitfix, Netflix content director Ted Sarandos isn’t particularly concerned that networks are more reluctant to licence their contact to the streaming giant.
I mean that the full season stack is exclusively on Netflix and that’s what’s going to be the most attractive way to attract our licensing dollars. And more and more, what people are excited about Netflix are the originals. And I would never want to rush into things and take away the shows that people love. But the viewing is shifting as aggressively as the spending is towards our original shows.
It’s a great interview, which I highly recommend for those of you who are interested in Netflix’s business model.
At present there’s no comprehensive list of every show that will become part of Stan’s library. Nevertheless, it’s another step forward for Stan in the battle of the streaming services in Australia.
Penny Dreadful is a show I had always planned to watch, but it was always on at the wrong time. Then when I borrowed Mad Max: Fury Road from a DVD Kiosk, Video Ezy started sending me promotional codes, and they had the first season of Penny Dreadful. You rent one disc at a time, and I had three promo codes, so I ended up not paying a thing to watch this show, which is pretty great. I’m not a huge fan of traditional horror, but I heard that there’s enough camp in Penny Dreadful that I thought I might enjoy it. It’s not the campiest thing I’ve ever seen, but it stands out amongst the paranormal fiction that’s grown in popularity in the wake of Twilight. It does this through story and character, rather than relying on plot twists, even though there were some moments that were genuinely shocking. There are spoilers for the season finale here, so proceed with caution. Continue reading
So it turns out that if I don’t write every day, I let things slip. This week has been a bit busy – I’ve gone back to work is the main thing, and I’ve had other things I’ve been working on. I definitely need to figure out some sort of schedule for the blog, but that’s not going to happen in the next week or so. I have been watching things. I’m behind on my reading already, so I might just have to read the YA books on the pile to ease myself into it. I’ve been watching a few things this week, for which there will be reviews.