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Stan

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stan.com.au

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With so many premium streaming sites on the market to choose from, choosing the right one can sometimes seem like an impossible decision. Which one will be right for you? Sure, it is true that you do not have to pick just one, but who has the money to just subscribe to every premium streaming service that catches their attention? The monthly price tags add up very quickly.

This is why it is crucial that, before picking your next premium streaming app, you figure out how to identify which ones are the best, and which ones are nothing more than wastes of your time and the space on your phone. So, then, how does one go about identifying a great premium streaming app from the never-ending slush pile of streaming apps in the app store (a slush pile, mind you, that is growing larger with each and every day)?

The first thing that I tend to look at when weighing a premium streaming app is its content. As is the case in all things, content is king. After all, what good is a streaming app if it does not have tons of great shows and movies for you to choose from … am I right? You could have the most elegantly designed app in the entire world. If all that app offered was subpar shows that nobody has ever heard of before, nobody would care to download it.

Your premium streaming app of choice needs to have either or both of the following: A.) award-winning or nominated, critically acclaimed series and films, or B.) the kind of content that you like. There are plenty of premium streaming apps out there that set out to fill specific niche interests. There are comedy streaming apps, horror streaming apps, streaming apps that cater to those interested in spiritualism … the list goes on and on … one of the things that you’ll have to figure out before you can decide on a premium streaming app is this: do you want a niche streaming service, or would you prefer a more generalized one that offers a great variety of different kinds of content?

If variety is what you crave, a diverse library of high-quality content, I might just have the perfect streaming app for you. Well, if you live in Australia, that is. A must-have for entertainment lovers in Australia, Stan TV is one of the best streaming services I have ever seen, with one of the most impressive lists of shows and movies on the market. In fact, some of the contracts that Stan TV has managed to nail down are quite impressive, including rights to content from Disney, Paramount, CBS, MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon – pretty much any and every film studio and TV network worth noting today.

But anyone who is familiar with streaming apps knows that content, although arguably the most important, is not the only category to take into account. The best premium streaming apps also offer great design, plenty of useful features, and a fair price. So, without further ado, let’s dive in and take a look at Stan TV and see, once and for all if it is worth your time and money.

History

Perhaps the best way to discuss the history of Stan would be to go on a trip through its content acquisition. Stan TV launched in January of 2015, and its release coincided with the premiere of Better Call Saul. Stan also received exclusive rights to Breaking Bad (which, prior to Stan, only aired on Foxtel in Australia). These weren’t the only big-name shows that Stan offered from the very beginning. It also provided users with Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle.

From the very beginning, Stan acquired partnership deals with Sony, ABC, SBS, Viacom, MGM, BBC Worldwide, Showtime, CBS, Village Roadshow, and Warner Bros. Seldom does a fledgling streaming service nab such contracts in its early days. Success was imminent for Stan.

The content profile of Stan TV only continued to expand from there. On December 15th of 2014, Stan signed an agreement with ABC Commercial, which included hundreds of hours of archived Australian ABC content, including the popular series Summer Heights High, Janet King, Ja’mie: Private School Girl, Jack Irish, Upper Middle Bogan, Bob the Builder, The Moodys, and Angelina Ballerina (to name but a few).

From there, Stan just kept growing. Just two days later, on December 17th of 2014, Stan went on to sign non-exclusive agreements with Viacom in order to feature shows from MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon. Suddenly, Stan had the rights to offer shows like SpongeBob SquarePants, iCarly, Teen Mom, South Park, Tosh.0, My Super Sweet Sixteen, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Reno 911.

Stan did not stop growing in 2014, either. In the following years, Stan would acquire content from Warner Bros, the Nine Network, and Paramount Pictures. In a war for content share with Netflix, something tells me that Stan is only getting started when it comes to acquiring the best content available.

Design

I really enjoy the way that Stan is designed. It has a sleek and professional look to it. With a refreshing theme that is largely blue and black. It’s nice to see a splash of color on a premium streaming app, as the majority of them tend to use dark themes, heavy on black and gray.

I am also a huge fan of the app’s layout. Instead of dividing it into a bunch of sections at the top or the bottom of the app, Stan has opted for a sleeker and, I think, less distracting way to separate its content. With a simple hamburger dropdown menu at the top, simply click on the menu to toggle to a new category (shows, movies, etc.). When you aren’t using the menu, it goes away, allowing for a fuller experience of the app as you browse and explore content.

That being said, as good as it looks and as impressive as the layout may be, the app is not the most reliable. It crashes often, and you cannot minimize video so that you might continue watching content while doing other things on your phone (answering texts, messages, etc.). Also, the swiping between shows function is not nearly as smooth or natural as it could be. It’s easy to forget sometimes that app design is not all about looks. The functionality is even more important. And, sadly, Stan is not the best-functioning streaming app there is.

Content

As I have already outlined, Stan is one of the best premium streaming apps when it comes to the quantity and quality of its content. You can’t argue with the shows and movies that Stan has to offer. It has plenty of fan favorites, cult classics, and hit shows and movies to watch. Plus, Stan, like Netflix and Hulu, offers some of its own original programmings. Original shows such as No Activity, Plonk, Wolf Creek, Romper Stomper, Bloom, The Other Guy, The Gloaming, and The Commons help to further set Stan apart from the competition.

If quality content is your main concern, you won’t be able to go wrong with Stan.

Pricing and Plans

What you pay for Stan depends on what streaming quality you want, how many simultaneous streams you require, and the number of offline download devices you want. Here is a quick breakdown of the different plans that Stan TV offers:

-Stan TV Basic: $10/month, standard definition streaming, one simultaneous stream, and one download device. -Stan TV Standard: $14/month, HD streaming, three simultaneous streams, three download devices. -Stan TV Premium: $17/month, 4K streaming, four simultaneous streams, five download devices.

So, long story short, if you want to make the most out of the Stan TV app, you will have to pay a pretty penny.

Suggestions that I have for Stan TV App

If Stan really wants to become a major competitor for Netflix, they will have to offer more for their basic $10/month subscription tier. The standard resolution is fine (I guess … Netflix is not exactly famous for its HD streaming). Where my problem lies is in only one simultaneous stream for that price. I think at least two would give Stand more of a competitive edge in the space. They will also have to, once and for all, fix all of those pesky bugs and crashing issues on the app.

Likes & Hates:
Tons of awesome content
Great app layout and look
Only available in Australia
Can get pretty expensive
App is buggy