Binge vs Netflix: Which streaming TV service is best for you?
Foxtel's new Binge streaming TV app goes head-to-head with Netflix in a crowded market. We compare the features, price, content and experience.
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For the past decade, the two big giants of the Australian TV space have been Netflix and Foxtel. But we've never truly seen these two colossi go head-to-head. While NewsCorp did have a foot in the streaming video on-demand market with Foxtel Now, that premium service was always an extension of the Foxtel IQ pay-TV experience. It never truly tried to compete with Netflix.
However, the announcement of Binge TV has changed all that. Binge is built from the ground up to repackage some (not all) of the content from across the massive range of Foxtel channels into a genuine SVOD app. One free from the Foxtel branding and user experience. And an app that not only goes head-to-head with Netflix, but also other big players in Australian SVOD scene, such as Stan, Disney+, Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video.
But the key battle remains Binge vs Netflix. If you're trying to choose between the two TV services, or are wondering if you should switch from Netflix to Binge, this is everything you need to know.
Binge vs Netflix head-to-head
Here is a quick overview of the differences between the two services.
|Features||Binge Basic||Binge Standard||Binge Premium||Neflix Basic||Netflix Standard||Netflix Premium|
|Free trial||14 days||14 days||14 days||No||No||No|
|Release date||25 May 20||25 May 20||25 May 20||24 March 15||24 March 15||24 March 15|
|Available Movies and TV shows||1800+||1800+||1800+||5800+||5800+||5800+|
|Can watch offline?||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Devices||PC, iOS, Android, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, Telstra TV||PC, iOS, Android, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, Telstra TV||PC, iOS, Android, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, Telstra TV||PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, PS4, Xbox One, Apple TV, Fetch TV, Chromecast, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Vodafone TV, Telstra TV, Smart TVs (LG, Hisense, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sony)||PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, PS4, Xbox One, Apple TV, Fetch TV, Chromecast, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Vodafone TV, Telstra TV, Smart TVs (LG, Hisense, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sony)||PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, PS4, Xbox One, Apple TV, Fetch TV, Chromecast, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Vodafone TV, Telstra TV, Smart TVs (LG, Hisense, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sony)|
|More info||More info||More info||More info||More info||More info||More info|
Binge vs Netflix price comparison
In approaching the launch of Binge, Foxtel has clearly priced its new service in line with the standard set by Netflix. This also gives it at a similar cost structure to Stan. The bottom two plans used to be on par with Netflix at $10 (SD) and $14 (HD). However, Netflix upped prices for its Basic and Standard plans in September 2020. The Basic Netflix plan now costs $10.99/month, while the Standard plan is priced at $15.99/month.
The top Premium plan is $2 cheaper on Binge than Netflix, but it also only offers an additional two simultaneous streams over the Standard plan. It doesn't offer 4K or Dolby Atmos support, which you do get through Netflix at its top price tier.
Needless to say, this seems like a swing and a miss by Binge. However, it only truly impacts Australian consumers with the internet speed and the hardware (a 4K TV and/or a home theatre that supports Dolby Atmos) to access those top tier features. Is this you? If you don't have the desire or ability to access the best resolution and audio, then you're not missing out.
Thankfully, Binge does offer something very important that Netflix does not; a free trial. You can pick up 14-days of free Binge right here if you are a new customer.
Of course, price is just a small part of your Netflix vs Binge comparison, it's all relative to content.
Does Binge have better shows and movies than Netflix?
There's no doubt that Binge has hit the ground running. Where Disney+ and Apple TV+ launched at the backend of 2019 with tepid and even niche catalogues of content, Binge lands in May 2020 armed to the teeth.
Binge has leveraged the fact it's a sister product to Foxtel to pack its library with some of the best TV content every produced. Most notable is the partnership between WarnerMedia and Foxtel/Binge. This brings with it exclusive rights to the entire library of HBO content. All the big hitters are on Binge and nowhere else (except Foxtel), including; Game of Thrones, Westworld, The Wire, Band of Brothers, True Detective, Chernobyl, Big Little Lies and plenty more.
You'll also find top content from the BBC (like Bad Education), NBCUniversal (like Law & Order) and FX (like Mrs. America and Breeders). Plus, there a selection of Foxtel Originals, too, such as Gogglebox Australia and Grand Designs.
In addition to that exclusive content, you also have thousands of other classic TV shows and movies, such as Sex and the City, Seinfeld, the Bourne series and the Jurassic Park films. While there are some family-friendly movies on hand, like Netflix, Binge is definitely tailored more to mature viewers. We'd still recommend Disney+ for families thinking of an SVOD service.
On Netflix's part, it has a huge library, but there's plenty of filler in there. While Netflix does have rights to broadcast some widely available TV shows and movies, it's also created quite an extensive line-up of Originals to help separate it from the number of services that have emerged in recent years. Documentaries and comedy specials are also two areas where Netflix stands out.
While Netflix will continue to provide the bigger catalogue of choice and the greater range of Originals, Binge isn't a distant second by any means. The curation of content on Binge is excellent, and by utilising Foxtel's exclusive broadcast rights, the new streaming TV service very much holds its own in the debate about content.
Which steaming service has the better features?
To its credit, Netflix has become such a standard bearer in the SVOD market that its "revolutionary features" are now just commonplace. Netflix rarely fails from a technical standpoint, and ticks most of the boxes you would expect from any SVOD app.
Binge is interesting in this regard. It stands on the shoulders of its stablemate Kayo Sports, an award-winning streaming TV app with quite brilliant features tailored to sports fans. Binge, therefore, does have some interesting curiosities. Focusing in on an audience that revels in the idea of binging content, its unique features adapt the UI to that kind of use.
The Binge Centre offers a hub for any series (TV or movie) where you can access all the content around it in one place. BingeLists allow you to have multiple TV series that have gained your interest not only saved, but saved where you last watched them, for easy access. While the Surprise Me! option looks to kill-off scrolling forever (the bane of Netflix) by selecting a show for you based on our previous choices and the curation of Binge editors.
Sadly, some of the features we've come to expect elsewhere aren't on Binge. Namely offline use and the previously mentioned 4K support. At least both services to support multiple simultaneous streams (depending on price tier) and multiple profiles.
What about device compatibility?
As one of the veterans of the SVOD space, Netflix is available across a plethora of devices. In fact, it's harder to find a platform it's not on (Nintendo Switch, perhaps?) You can access Netflix on PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, PS4, Xbox One, Apple TV, Fetch TV, Chromecast, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Vodafone TV, Telstra TV and Smart TVs (LG, Hisense, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sony).
At launch, Binge is understandable more restricted. However, given it's built on the same technology as Kayo Sports, it's still a pretty comprehensive list of devices. You've got browser access for PC and Mac, apps for iOS, Android, Telstra TV Apple TV an Android TV. There's also support for Chromecast and Airplay.
Where Binge falls in this regard is in the lack of native app support for Smart TVs, and availability on video game consoles. There are, however, in the pipeline and should be active six to twelve months after launch.
Verdict: Binge vs Netflix
Binge and Netflix target similar demographics: Mature streaming video on-demand content with a healthy mix of movies, TV and documentary content. While Netflix absolutely has the edge when it comes to overall size of library and dedication to Original content, Binge's exclusive access to the very best in TV – including six of the top 10 rated shows of all time on IMDB – makes it a genuine rival worth considering.
With Binge also offering documentaries, but also including lifestyle and reality TV programming, we're even willing to give Binge the nod. That said, if you're all about the 4K and Dolby Atmos experience, or already have Foxtel and enjoy its larger breadth of content, then Binge isn't for you.
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