Watch your faves from Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars and more.
Comparison of all of Australia’s streaming services: Disney+, Netflix, Stan, Foxtel and more
Are you more Netflix or Apple TV+? Is the hype surrounding Disney+ real? What about sports streaming?
With choice on the streaming market at an all-time high, it can be difficult to figure out which of these services is actually worth your cash. After all, streaming was supposed to save us money in the long run, acting as an entertainment replacement for expensive pay TV packages.
Fast forward to the present and subscribing to all the platforms available is anything but cost-effective. While neither one will break the bank on its own, get three or more and suddenly you'll be wondering if cutting the cord is actually worth it.
That's why it's important to figure out which of Australia's streaming services will offer the most bang for your buck. While each service is appealing in its own way, it ultimately comes down to what kind of content you like to watch.
On that note, here's a comprehensive rundown of all major streaming players currently on the market. Compare and contrast or mix and match until you find the combo that best suits your entertainment needs.
TV and movie streaming services
Disney+ has only recently become available in Australia, but it's already making waves. With a generous content library consisting of more than 800 titles, it's easy to figure out why. The platform offers a plethora of family-friendly TV shows and movies, which makes it a clever choice for big households and diehard Disney fans.
Add in the fact that it also streams content from all of its subsidiaries and you've got yourself a hit. The list includes Pixar, Lucasfilm, National Geographic, 20th Century Fox and Marvel.
That means that, content-wise at least, Disney+ is a virtual godsend for lovers of big, crowd-pleasing blockbusters. Think Avengers: Endgame, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Up or Beauty and the Beast, to only name a few. The content line-up includes Disney Channel shows as well as documentaries and original series.
Most notably, you can stream fresh hit The Mandalorian, the first live-action Star Wars series, exclusively on Disney+. Another pro: once a title is on Disney+, don't expect it to disappear after a few months. It will be there forever.
Prior to the launch, Disney content was distributed among other Australian providers, like Foxtel Now and Stan. However, moving forward, all family-oriented Disney titles will be exclusively available on Disney+, giving fans the chance to pay for only one streaming service to access them.
Speaking of, Disney+ is fairly accessible. It offers only one subscription tier, at $8.99/month with a free 7-day trial. You can save some cash by getting a yearly subscription, which costs $89.99.
As for the streaming experience itself, it's pretty seamless. Selected content is available in 4K video quality, the service comes with Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision support, the interface is intuitive and you can stream on four simultaneous devices at once.
Disney+ works on a variety of gadgets, including laptops, mobile devices, smart TVs, game consoles and streaming media devices. The only downside is the lack of a "Continue Watching" feature, but we expect that to be fixed in the near future. You can read more in our in-depth Disney+ review.
All in all, Disney+ is definitely worth looking into, making it a solid streaming choice the entire family can enjoy. In the US, you can purchase a Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu bundle. There are no deals between Disney and other Australian providers right now, although rumours abound about future partnerships.
Until then, you can mimic the deal packaging both Disney+ and Kayo Sports and enjoy a similar Entertainment + Sports experience.
Streaming giant Netflix is still going strong, despite competitors' efforts to come ahead. With years of experience behind it, Netflix has come to know its subscribers very well, which makes it a force to be reckoned with. The global platform shows no signs of slowing down. Quite the opposite.
With the streaming wars in full swing, more and more distributors are pulling their content from Netflix in order to launch their own services. As a result, Netflix has given its original library a boost, to the point where it's releasing so much new content on a weekly basis that it's challenging to keep up. So while the platform suffers as far as licensed titles are concerned, it's doubling down on releasing original shows and movies to compensate.
Netflix's Australian library has never been able to compete with the US one, but it's still fairly comprehensive, with more titles being added each month. The downside is that Netflix original titles are a mixed bag. For every The Crown you have The I-land and for every Roma you have The Ridiculous 6.
Still, there are plenty of titles to feed your binge-watching addiction, with TV hits including Stranger Things, Black Mirror, Queer Eye, BoJack Horseman, Orange Is the New Black, Russian Doll and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
Another great thing about Netflix is that it streams content from a wide variety of genres, offering kids' programming, documentaries and reality TV as well. If quantity and diversity is what you're after, Netflix remains a solid pick.
The service is also tough to beat when it comes to the actual streaming. Top features include multiple profiles, 4K video quality, a great interface, a kids' section, audio descriptions and offline viewing. Plus, Netflix is available on virtually every device imaginable.
As for price, that's what might make some would-be users think twice before signing up. At its cheapest, Netflix Basic costs $9.99/month, but this plan only enables you to watch content in SD quality, on one device at a time.
A Standard plan, which costs $13.99/month, gives you access to HD titles and two simultaneous streams, while a Premium plan lets you watch on four devices at the same time, in 4K, for $19.99/month. Regardless of which plan you pick, you get a 30-day free trial.
If you're purchasing Netflix for a family, you could do with the Standard option, as long as watching in 4K quality isn't high on your must-haves list. And given the multiple profile features, you can easily share your Netflix subscription with a friend (or more). At the end of the day, the service remains an industry leader, so you'll have plenty to watch if you try it out.
Also read: Netflix vs Disney+
Australia's home-grown streaming service Stan has been consistently improving its library ever since launch. It offers a healthy variety of TV series, some original productions and exclusive shows fast-tracked from the US. It doesn't particularly stand out on the movie front, especially with Disney taking back its blockbusters, but it does offer a decent variety of titles.
Stan's original shows have been earning plenty of praise, so you might want to prioritise those when signing up. The list includes No Activity, Bloom and Wolf Creek, among others. As for fast-tracked series, the service lets you watch fresh episodes of popular series like Godfather of Harlem, Power, The Loudest Voice and Billions.
However, Stan really shines when it comes enabling users' predilection towards comfort binges. The platform hosts hits like Lost, Friends, Parks and Recreation, The Office, Veronica Mars, Seinfeld and Scrubs. If you're a fan of re-watching favourites, this is definitely a worthy service for you.
As for pricing, Stan offers three tiers, similar to Netflix. For $10/month you get the Basic plan, which lets you watch titles in SD on one device at a time. The Standard plan, at $14/month, lets you watch on three screens simultaneously, in HD. To stream in 4K quality you'll need the Premium plan, which costs $17/month and lets you watch four concurrent streams. Either way, you get a 30-day free trial.
The streaming experience is seamless, with offline viewing also available. Stan is compatible with an array of devices, including smart TVs, game consoles, tablets, mobiles, Apple TV, Chromecast, Telstra TV and Fetch. There are multiple profiles, closed captions, a slick interface and plenty of 4K content.
Unlike Netflix, Stan won't recommend you titles based on your viewing habits, but its library is very intuitive to navigate. In short, if you're a TV enthusiast, you'll love Stan. If you're a movie buff, you might want to look elsewhere.
Amazon Prime Video
Prime Video became available in Australia when it went global at the end of 2016. Unlike then, the service is now offering a decent library of content and it also comes free with an Amazon Prime membership. So if you shop on Amazon a lot and are thinking about getting Prime to enjoy expedited shipping, you'll be happy to know that Prime Video will come as an extra perk.
An Amazon Prime membership will set you back only $6.99/month, which is affordable, especially as it gives you access to exclusive deals, discounts and free shipping on selected items. All with a 30-day free trial.
As for the streaming service itself, its biggest drawcard is its impressive slate of original content. That means shows like Transparent, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Man in the High Castle and Homecoming, to name a few. They're all critically acclaimed, so you can't go wrong with tuning in.
As for licensed content, the library is less generous, but it does contain some notable hits like Seinfeld, This Is Us and Parks and Recreation. As we've already mentioned, the library isn't as rich in movies. However, it does offer some classic hits like The Godfather, Fight Club, Love Actually and Forrest Gump.
The platform's interface is a bit clunky, so it can be difficult to find something to watch. That being said, the streaming experience is seamless, so it's unlikely you'll encounter any issues. The service is compatible with a wide variety of devices, from smartphones to game consoles. There are closed captions and you can download titles to watch on the go.
In short, subscribing to Prime Video on its own may not be worth it. But if you want Amazon Prime, the streaming service is definitely a welcome bonus.
Foxtel's streaming offering Foxtel Now can be a worthy alternative to a traditional pay TV subscription. Its main appeal is that it lets you watch content both live and on demand, so you can tune in to your favourite channels via the Internet, no strings attached.
The platform offers different channel packs, based on users' interests. You need to get the basic Essentials pack, at $25/month, which comes with a mix of Lifestyle and Pop channels that include shows like Batwoman, Love It or List It and The Great Australian Bake Off.
From then on, you can add more packs to your subscription, which are pretty self-explanatory: Sport ($29/month), Drama Extra ($10/month), Movies ($20/month), Kids ($10/month) and Docos ($10/month). Foxtel Now offers a 10-day free trial.
The Sport channel pack is Foxtel Now's main appeal, since it lets you watch over 50 sports from all over the world live. However, with Kayo Sports now available as a cheaper alternative, subscribers might be tempted to get their sports fix over there.
On the TV show/movie front Foxtel Now is the only place to watch HBO hits like Watchmen, Veep, Barry, Silicon Valley and Chernobyl. The service also offers a great library of movies, including recent blockbusters. So as far as quality content is concerned, there's plenty to binge.
Foxtel Now issues and devices
Unfortunately, Foxtel is still struggling with buffering issues and drops in video quality at peak times. That was obvious during the final season of Game of Thrones, when users became very vocal about their troubles with the service. There's also no 4K content available or offline viewing function, but the device compatibility is pretty solid.
You can access Foxtel Now on laptops and mobile devices with the Foxtel GO app or directly on game consoles, Sony Android TVs, Telstra TV, Chromecast/Airplay and the telco's Foxtel Now box. The service lets you stream on two devices at the same time.
So, should you give it a go? If you're really into watching live TV or a massive HBO and movie fan, Foxtel Now should be on your radar. Otherwise, the service is fairly expensive compared to some of the alternatives.
Newly available platform Apple TV+ is banking on quality over quantity. The service launched with a small roster of original content, but has big plans for its streaming future, with many intriguing titles currently in development.
So far, highlights on the platform include drama Morning Wars, space series For All Mankind, post-apocalyptic show See and comedy Dickinson.
Given the small content library, Apple TV+ costs $7.99/month, with a 7-day free trial available. You also get it free for a year if you purchase an Apple product. The platform is easy to navigate and comes with exciting features like 4K video, Dolby Atmos audio on most content, offline viewing and the ability to stream on six devices simultaneously.
It works via web, on Apple devices (Apple TV, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch), compatible smart TVs, Roku devices and Amazon Fire TV devices. Unfortunately, there's no Android app available just yet.
All in all, Apple TV+ is worth looking into if you're a TV enthusiast who follows everything prestige-TV related. Otherwise, you might want to wait a while for the content library to grow.
Unlike the previous services on this list, which offer content across most genres, hayu has a very clear niche: reality TV. The streaming service offers a fabulous library of reality shows, a lot of them fast-tracked from the US, so it enables fans to easily keep up with their favourite stars and series.
Content highlights include Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Vanderpump Rules, Below Deck and plenty of titles from the Real Housewives franchise. There are over 6,000 episodes available, so it should keep you busy for a while.
hayu costs $6.99/month with a 1-month free trial, which should be enough time to let you test-drive the platform and binge some addictive boxsets. The platform is easy to browse, boasting a user-friendly interface and useful categories like True Crime, Lifestyle and Body Modification.
You can watch on a variety of devices, including via web, on smartphones/tablets, Roku, Android TV, compatible smart TVs and more. Offline viewing is available and you can watch content in HD (no 4K).
All in all, hayu is definitely worth subscribing to if you're a devoted reality TV fan, as its library is unparalleled. It might not work though if you're looking for something the entire family can enjoy.
Sports streaming services
While the services above are all great when it comes to TV shows and movies, with the exception of Foxtel Now they all come short on the sport front. So if you're a sports enthusiast, you're likely looking for something more.
Luckily, a lot of streaming services with a focus on sport are now available in Australia. Most of them are niche ones, like NBA League Pass, NFL Game Pass, MBL.TV and UFC Fight Pass, among others.
There's also Optus Sport, the exclusive home of the English Premier League and UEFA Champions League in Australia, which makes it extremely appealing to football fans. It offers matches live and on demand for $14.99/month. The service can also be added as an optional extra on eligible Optus plans for free.
However, when it comes to value, it's hard to beat Kayo Sports. The streaming platform offers coverage of over 50 sports from all over the world, both live and on demand. That includes broadcasts of the AFL Premiership Season, BBL, NRL Premiership, A-League and international competitions.
A Basic subscription costs $25/month and lets you stream on two devices at the same time, while a Premium subscription supports three simultaneous streams for $35/month. Whichever option you choose, you get a 14-day free trial. The platform has an elegant interface and comes with fun features like SplitView, which lets you watch up to four videos on the same screen.
As you've probably figured, each service on the market has something going for it, so it ultimately comes down to the type of content you're most interested in. None of the platforms come with lock-in contracts, so there's nothing stopping you from giving them all a spin and figuring out which one you like most.
You can also interrupt your subscription for a while to try out something else. What you should really be doing is sharing services that support multiple concurrent streams with friends or family members.
Cut down on your monthly subscriptions while increasing your access to content. It's a good time to be a streaming fan.
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