Nine’s SVOD service nears 100,000 subs

Better Call SaulAustralian SVOD service Stan is on course to sign up 100,000 members just a month after its launch, according to one of its parent companies.

Nine Entertainment Company said subscriber numbers were running between three and four months ahead of schedule, and that Stan was on track for more than 100,000 by mid-March.

The platform, which Nine jointly runs with Fairfax Media, launched a month ago on Australia Day (January 26) as a A$10 (US$7.90) per month proposition offering more than 5,000 titles. AMC’s Better Call Saul (pictured) is among its local exclusives.

The numbers come ahead of Netflix’s launch in Australia next month.

They were released concurrently with Nine Network parent Nine Entertainment half-year half-year earnings to December 31, 2014.

Earnings after tax were A$91 million on revenues of A$839.9 million.

This compares favourably with the same period in 2013, when earnings were A$31.7 million and revenues were A$802.7 million.

However, on a pro-forma basis – which adjusts results for acquisitions and strips out costs associated with being a limited company – company profit fell 6.7% year-on-year to A$88.8 million, with revenues down 1.9% at A$829.2 million. This was in line with guidance issued in November.

The company, which operates Australian free-to-air channel Nine Network, also promised an A$150 million share buy back. Nine’s share price reacted accordingly, up nearly 10% at close of trading.

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