Stan CEO Martin Kugeler on what he looks for in a content deal


• This follows Stan’s new content partnership with Sony

This week, Stan announced that it had entered a new multi-year strategic content partnership with Sony Pictures Television, which will secure the streaming platform an exclusive slate of first-run premium scripted drama series.

The expanded partnership will see the extension of Stan’s exclusives while bringing an extensive catalogue of Sony series and films to Stan.

This multi-year agreement with Sony Pictures Television is Stan’s latest partnership with a Hollywood studio for first-run premium scripted series, following deals with Lionsgate, MGM, NBCU, and Paramount.

Mediaweek caught up with Stan’s CEO, Martin Kugeler, about what this deal means for the streaming platform and what the key areas of a content deal are.

“This strategic content partnership with Sony further underlines the strengths, diversity and sustainability of our long-term content pipeline,” said Kugeler. “It adds to our premium exclusive slate across major Hollywood studios, Stan Originals, and sport. It complements the different output deals and major partnerships that we have with all the Hollywood studios. It’s an exciting deal if you look through the content lineup that is coming through – the first run of exclusive dramas includes Twisted Metal, Straight Man, Panhandle, and Passport to Freedom. Also, to keep exclusive streaming rights for juggernauts like Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul is positive for us.”

When asked about how this deal reflects Stan’s approach to new exclusive content and evergreen content like Breaking Bad, Kugeler said that years of data have allowed them to get the balance right.

“We have nearly eight years of data and can analyse exactly how the content works. First run exclusive shows bring people in, and those evergreen shows do a great job in the retention of customers. With over 2.5 million subscribers, that’s hugely important. We bring new people in and then we keep them engaged with great content. Ultimately you need both, you can’t only live with exclusive shows, and you can’t only have those evergreens.”

When discussing what he looks for when putting a content deal together, Kugeler kept it simple and said that it comes down to the strength of content.

“You look at the content that is coming up, and the strengths of it that are presented to you. We’re talking about a long term deal with Sony, so we look at their ambition and their track record, plus the creators that are with Sony Pictures. You select the right partner based on that. You also have to negotiate the right commercial aspect – we’ve been very clear that we only do deals that make commercial sense to us. We’re very disciplined in that, otherwise we wouldn’t have become profitable.”


Kugeler said that it also comes down to assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the different distributors and studios that are available for deals.

“You look at that and then decide: is the focus more on first run exclusive shows? Or is it more on the library? Is it on the TV side or is it on the movie side? Is it more family and kids content? You look at the particular strengths of each of the studios, and then look at your overall lineup of content on the platform.”

On the topic of balancing international content deals with Stan’s large output of original content, Kugeler said original content is a pivotal source of subscribers. 

“Our originals content punches above its weight for getting people through the door. All our originals are strong acquisition drivers of new subscribers, and we are undoubtedly the unrivalled home of world class Australian storytelling. We have a differentiation versus all other players in the market that attracts people come to Stan. Originals is an acquisition driver for us.”

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