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Netflix Australia vs Stan: Price, content and features compared
Is Stan strong enough to stand up against the Internet TV giant?
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Two months before Netflix Australia made its debut, Stan entered the streaming market as a contender in the race to woo subscribers. With its exclusive programming and low monthly price, Stan has proved a strong local competitor for the global streaming giant. But when it comes to device compatibility, accessibility and overall most bang for your buck, how does Stan really compare vs Netflix?
Netflix vs Stan
Do Netflix and Stan offer free trials?
Unfortunately, Netflix pulled its free trial offer all together in March 2020. Meanwhile, Stan still offers a generous 30-day free trial for new users. That gives you more than enough time to give the platform a test drive.
Both Netflix and Stan charge for their services at 3 separate tiers: Basic, Standard and Premium. Netflix used to have the cheapest option available, albeit by 1 cent. However, the streaming giant has upped its prices repeatedly in the past couple of years.
The Basic plan now costs $10.99 a month. It will get you standard definition (SD) and 1 concurrent stream. The Standard plan ($16.99 a month) comes with high definition (HD) and 2 concurrent streams, while Premium ($22.99 a month) will get you 4K streaming and 4 concurrent streams.
For Stan, it's more or less the same with the exception of the Standard plan. The Basic plan ($10 a month) will get you SD and one concurrent stream, Standard ($14 a month) gets you HD and 3 concurrent streams and Premium ($19 a month) will get you 4K streaming and 4 concurrent streams.
The number of screens you can watch at the same time is an important factor for a lot of subscribers. The reason behind it is simple: The more screens supported, the more people you can share your subscription with – and hopefully the cost. Keep in mind though, Netflix are looking at cracking down on password sharing. That means there soon may be an extra cost applied to those using Netflix from outside a household.
If you get a Basic plan and want to share the login details with a friend you will need to coordinate who can tune in when, a hassle usually not worth saving a couple of bucks over. In this aspect, both Netflix and Stan do well, offering 2 (Netflix) and 3 (Stan) simultaneous streams for their Standard plans, which also come with HD quality streaming.
Things get more complicated if you purchase a subscription for the entire household comprised of devoted streamers, in which case getting a Premium plan might be worth spending the extra cash. The same applies if you’re keen to watch in 4K quality and already have a device that supports 4K streaming. In this case, the Premium plan from Stan is considerably cheaper.
All in all, Stan wins extra bonus points for offering an additional concurrent stream for the Standard plan and lower-priced plans overall.
When it comes to content, things get more subjective. Both streaming services come with generous content libraries and offer a diverse mix of TV series, movies, documentaries and reality programming.
As far as the sheer amount of content on offer, at the time of writing Netflix Australia had 2,241 TV shows and 4,201 movies with a total of 6,442 titles. Meanwhile, Stan had 845 TV shows and 2,269 movies with a total of 3,114 titles. Technically, this would make Netflix the clear winner, right?
Things aren’t that straightforward, since which one you choose will largely depend on your viewing preferences. Even if, let’s say, you would be willing to watch 6 hours or more of content per day, you will still need years to get through everything on offer. And with titles coming and going on a regular basis, it’s very likely that streaming everything will become a lifelong endeavour. So a better metric would be content you’re actually interested in giving a shot.
What content is on Netflix?
Netflix shines when it comes to original programming, dropping new titles at an impressive rate, whether we’re talking about TV shows or movies. Series like The Witcher, Stranger Things, Squid Game, BoJack Horseman, Bad Vegan, The Lincoln Lawyer, The Circle, Too Hot to Handle are bona fide hits with both critics and fans. On the same note, movies like Red Notice, The Adam Project or Army of the Dead are fan-favourites, with titles like The Power of the Dog winning the streaming service plenty of hype during awards season.
Netflix did lose licensed content in the last few years due to the emergence of new streamers, but it remains the international distributor of popular shows like Riverdale, so there’s still some stuff to watch that doesn’t fall under the Netflix original umbrella. The service also has a huge selection of new and classic movies which is more diverse and richer in newer titles than local competitor Stan.
What content is on Stan?
That being said, Stan has plenty going for it as well. Original productions aren’t as plentiful, but no one can deny their quality. Wolf Creek, No Activity, Bloom, The Tourist, Bump, Wolf Like Me, RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under and The Commons were all well-received by audiences eager to devour more local content. The platform also offers tons of series express from the US, beating Netflix in this category, with highlights including Yellowstone, New Amsterdam, Better Call Saul, Billions, Hacks and Minx, to name a few.
Additionally, Stan initially implemented a successful strategy – to become the official home of iconic TV content. We’re referring to comfort shows or those that streaming subscribers have the tendency to come back to on a regular basis. The service lost a big chunk of this library to Disney Plus, but you can still stream beloved series like The Vampire Diaries, Veronica Mars, Supernatural, The Office or Parks and Recreation.
Thanks to solid partnerships with various distributors, Netflix has a reputation for premium children’s content that has transferred over to its Australian line-up. Additionally, plenty of original kids' shows and movies populate the platform's library such as The Boss Baby: Back in Business, The Dragon Prince, Carmen Sandiego and so on.
Netflix has special profiles for kids and features that allow children to browse through an age-appropriate library without being able to see titles to movies that are not meant for them.
Stan also offers a diverse collection of kids shows and has a dedicated kids' profile, so the little ones can stream without the danger of accidentally stumbling across a grisly murder show. Its library, which is less generous than Netflix's, features popular titles from Cartoon Network like The Powerpuff Girls, Regular Show or The Bare Bears.
All well and good, but if you’re mainly interested in children’s programming, streaming service Disney Plus may be a better fit. Otherwise, there’s plenty for the little ones to watch on both Netflix and Stan.
Do Netflix and Stan offer live sport?
Netflix doesn't offer any kind of live programming. Stan offers live sport if you're willing to pay extra.
Stan Sport is an add-on priced at $10 a month. You can't get the add-on alone, you have to add it to an existing Stan subscription. However, it does come with a 7-day trial, so you get to test the live stream free for a week.
Stan Sport offers live and on demand coverage of Grand Slam Tennis, UEFA Champions League, rugby union, motorsport and more.
Stan vs Netflix: Device compatibility
Another factor to consider when subscribing to a new streaming service is which devices you’ll be able to use to tune in. While some viewers are fine with watching solely on smartphones and laptops, others want to be able to stream via game consoles, smart TVs or streaming devices. If that’s the case, you’ll be happy to know that both Netflix and Stan are compatible with pretty much any gadget you could think of.
It should also be noted that the Netflix and Foxtel partnership means that Netflix content is easily accessible via the Foxtel iQ set-top box, which is definitely a plus if you’re already a pay TV subscriber.
Both providers are using automated bit-rate adaption technology that allows the content to stream in line with your Internet speed but with Netflix, the video won’t need to re-buffer at the new speed.
You can also get SD, HD and Ultra HD on your television set with Netflix, depending on which package you choose. The same goes for Stan. At the 3 separate plan tiers (Basic, Standard and Premium) Stan users can access SD, HD and 4K respectively.
Do these services come with extra features?
Both Netflix and Stan offer user-friendly interfaces, a great search function and multiple profiles. Most titles from both streamers are available to download on mobile devices, so you can watch on the go without burning through your mobile data.
As far as accessibility is concerned, both services offer subtitles and audio descriptions on selected titles. You can connect both with Google Home and use voice commands to control them.
Additionally, Netflix enables you to play a random title on selected devices and carries some interactive content.
So, should I get Netflix or Stan?
Netflix and Stan are solid streaming services, so you can’t go wrong with either one. If Australian series and fast-tracked US shows are more your thing, go with Stan. If you’re more interested in Netflix’s original productions and want a better collection of movies, opt for the streaming giant.
Or, simply get them both and you’ll likely never run out of stuff to watch ever again. Stan comes with a 30-day free trial, so you can give it a spin if it works best for your needs. Netflix doesn't have a free trial so you have to commit straight off the bat.
Looking for even more services to add to your entertainment roster? See our Aussie streaming services guide.
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