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Disney+ may have just entered the streaming market, but it did so with a bang. The new streaming service comes with a solid content library, has some interesting features and boasts a price point that's lower than some of its competitors.
The service launched in Australia on 19 November, to similar hype. While the US is a much bigger market, there's no doubt that the streamer is aiming to shake things up Down Under as well, attracting a large number of users interested in family-oriented titles.
The service previously signed an agreement with Disney to stream some of its popular blockbusters exclusively, but once Disney+ became available, all those blockbusters were gone, migrating to the new service. Even so, that's just a fraction of Stan's library, which has a strong focus on trendy shows, a lot of which are fast-tracked from the US.
So will the local service still maintain its loyal user base? More importantly, if you have to pick between the two platforms, which one is a better fit? Let's compare Disney+ with Stan to figure things out.
Let's start with a top-line comparison of what each service offers.
|Features||Disney+||Stan Basic||Stan Standard||Stan Premium|
|Price/month||$8.99 (or $89.99/year)||$10.00||$14.00||$17.00|
|Free trial||7 days||30 days||30 days|
|Release date||19 December 19||26 January 15||26 January 15||26 January 15|
|Available Movies and TV shows||816+||2195||2195||2195|
|Can watch offline?||Yes||Select Titles||Select Titles||Select Titles|
|Devices||PC, iOS, Android, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire, ChromeCast, PS4, XBO, Windows 10, Smart TVs (LG, Samsung)||PC, Mac, Browser, PS4, XBO, Andriod, iOS, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Smart TV (LG, Samsung, etc), Blu Ray||PC, Mac, Browser, PS4, XBO, Andriod, iOS, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Smart TV (LG, Samsung, etc), Blu Ray||PC, Mac, Browser, PS4, XBO, Andriod, iOS, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Smart TV (LG, Samsung, etc), Blu Ray|
|More info||More info||More info||More info||More info|
Disney+ offers a single subscription plan for $8.99/month (or $89.99/year). That gives you access to the entire library of content, with selected titles in 4K quality. It also lets you stream on four different devices at once and offers offline viewing.
Meanwhile, Stan offers three price points, depending on the quality and perks you're after. You can get Stan Basic for $10/month, but that only enables you to watch videos in SD quality, on one screen at a time and download content on one device.
Stan Standard costs $14/month and lets you watch titles in HD quality, supports three simultaneous streams and lets you enjoy offline viewing on up to three devices. Finally, Stan Premium opens the platform's vault of 4K content for $17/month. It also lets you stream on four screens simultaneously and download videos on up to five separate phones or tablets. Every plan comes with a 30-day free trial.
So yes, Disney+ is cheaper than Stan, especially when compared to the local streamer's Premium plan, the only one that lets you watch selected titles in 4K quality. That one will cost you almost double.
As far as features are concerned, both platforms are fairly equal, although Stan has a slight edge due to its experience on the streaming market.
On the device front, Disney+ comes with pretty good compatibility. It works with select LG, Sony and Samsung smart TVs; game consoles including Xbox One and PS4; and streaming devices such as Apple TV 4th generation and higher, Chromecast, Fire TV Stick and Android TV.
Meanwhile, Stan is compatible with all of those and more. You can also access Stan on Telstra TV and Fetch TV, as well as on PS3 and a wider range of smart TVs like Hisense, Panasonic and Kogan, among others.
With both services, the streaming experience itself is seamless. There are closed captions and audio descriptions on selected titles. Both Stan and Disney+ have slick interfaces and multiple profiles. You can add titles to a watchlist to better keep track of content you're interested in. And you can set up kids' profiles to limit content to a certain classification.
It's important to note that Disney+ launched in Australia without a basic feature that was surprisingly missing: continue watching. In other words, viewers were unable to continue viewing a title from where they left off in case they stepped away from their device. These issues are being fixed though. Disney+ now features a resume button and there should also now be a continue watching section.
At the end of the day, both services are user-friendly, so you can't go wrong with either one. However, Stan is the clear winner in this category, in terms of more compatible devices. Disney+ though takes out the title for ease of use and navigation.
When talking about content, things are not as straightforward as they might seem at first sight. Disney+ launched in Australia with more than 800 titles in its library. Meanwhile, at last count, Stan had over 500 shows and more than 1,600 movies. So if you look at it from a strict numbers perspective, Stan comes out on top.
But sheer quantity isn't always a good factor to consider when choosing a service to sign up for. It ultimately comes down to your personal tastes, viewing habits and entertainment needs. As such, the two streaming services are very different.
As we mentioned above Disney pulled all its titles from Stan which will see it's content library take a significant hit.
With minor exceptions, Disney+ mainly focuses on family-oriented titles, which makes it a great service the entire family can use. You can enjoy titles not only from Disney itself, but also from Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar.
That's a lot of blockbusters you won't be able to stream anywhere else. When you add in hundreds of hours of TV from Disney Channel, animated classics and intriguing National Geographic docuseries, then Disney+ is a well-rounded service for the most part.
Disney is also investing in original content, with some titles already available on the platform. The list includes acclaimed Star Wars series The Mandalorian, quirky comedy High School Musical: The Musical: The Series and movies like a live-action Lady and the Tramp and holiday flick Noelle.
Even more titles are currently in production, expected to drop on Disney+ in the following months/years. So there's plenty to watch, especially if you're a movie buff.
However, Disney+ falls short on the television front. The streaming platform has a lot of series, true, but the majority are animated shows or kids' programming. There's not a lot of TV adults can binge-watch. There's The Simpsons and Marvel's Agent Carter. You might be tempted by Ducktales or Gravity Falls.
But once you've watched all that, you pretty much run out of binge-able television. Episodes of original shows drop weekly, so it's not like you can watch The Mandalorian in one sitting. If binge-watching is your thing, Disney+ might not be particularly satisfying.
Stan, on the other hand, has a lot going for it on the TV front. The platform has its own slate of well-received original programming like Bloom, No Activity and Wolf Creek. Moreover, it has a generous content library of licensed programming, with some of the titles fast-tracked from the US.
That includes hits like Better Call Saul, Godfather of Harlem, Power, Billions and RuPaul's Drag Race. Add to that an impressive collection of crowd-pleasing titles in the lines of Friends, Veronica Mars, The Office, Lost, Parks and Recreation, Seinfeld and Scrubs. All in all, Stan remains a great destination for TV enthusiasts, whether they like to keep up with newly released shows or re-watch old favourites.
Stan doesn't really excel on the movie front, especially with Disney taking back its blockbusters. It does offer a big catalogue of titles, but most of those are classics or older flicks. When it comes to more recent, hyped releases, you shouldn't expect much.
It's also important to note that while Stan updates its library regularly, not a lot of new content will land on Disney+ on a monthly basis, since the platform is only offering titles it already owns. On the other hand, once a show or movie is on Disney+, it will likely be there forever. Content on Stan can disappear with little notice due to distribution deals.
It's difficult to compare the two based on content since they both target a different audience. If you're a TV fanatic, Stan is clearly the more tempting service, thanks to its more mature library. If you don't watch a lot of TV but want something to satisfy the entire family, Disney+ might be more up your alley. Both platforms offer a lot of quality titles, so you'll have plenty to watch regardless of which option you choose.
You can watch on up to four devices at the same time with Disney+. That means you can easily share your subscription with your family on friends.
On Stan, you can only watch on multiple devices if you opt for a higher-priced plan, with three devices for Standard and four for Platinum. You can only watch on one device at a time with the Basic subscription.
Disney+ is a solid pick for diehard Disney fans. If you're into brands like Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars, it's definitely a must, as it gives you access to titles from their libraries for a single monthly (or annual) fee. It also works well for families with kids who want to have movies like Frozen easily accessible.
However, if diversity is what you're after, right now Stan still remains the better choice, for TV fans in particular. How much longer that last for we can't be sure as Disney has big future plans.
So for now if you can't just get them both and call it a day. The streaming wars are getting increasingly exhausting.
Also read: Disney+ vs Netflix
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