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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 to Netflix?
Netflix vs Stan
|Features||Netflix Basic||Stan Basic||Netflix Standard||Stan Standard||Stan Premium||Netflix Premium|
|Free trial||No||1 month||No||1 month||1 month||No|
|Release date||24 March 15||26 January 15||24 March 15||26 January 15||26 January 15||24 March 15|
|Can watch offline?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Devices||PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, Apple TV, Fetch TV, ChromeCast, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Vodafone TV, Telstra TV, Smart TVs (LG, Hisense, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sony), Blu-ray Players (LG, Samsung, Sony)||PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Apple TV, Fetch TV, ChromeCast, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Telstra TV, Smart TVs (LG, Hisense, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, TCL, Kogan, FFalcon, Toshiba)||PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, Apple TV, Fetch TV, ChromeCast, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Vodafone TV, Telstra TV, Smart TVs (LG, Hisense, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sony), Blu-ray Players (LG, Samsung, Sony)||PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Apple TV, Fetch TV, ChromeCast, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Telstra TV, Smart TVs (LG, Hisense, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, TCL, Kogan, FFalcon, Toshiba)||PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Apple TV, Fetch TV, ChromeCast, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Telstra TV, Smart TVs (LG, Hisense, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, TCL, Kogan, FFalcon, Toshiba)||PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, Apple TV, Fetch TV, ChromeCast, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Vodafone TV, Telstra TV, Smart TVs (LG, Hisense, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sony), Blu-ray Players (LG, Samsung, Sony)|
|More info||more info||more info||more info||more info||more info||more info|
While both services originally offered month long free trials. Netflix pulled its free trial offer all together in March 2020.
Both Netflix and Stan charge for their services at three separate tiers: Basic, Standard and Premium. Netflix used to have the cheapest option available, albeit by 1 cent. However, the streaming giant upped its prices for the Basic and Standard plans in September 2020. The Basic plan now costs $10.99/month.
In Netflix's case, Basic will get you standard definition (SD) and one concurrent stream, Standard gets you high definition (HD) and two concurrent streams, while Premium will get you 4K streaming and four concurrent streams.
For Stan, it's more or less the same with the exception of the Standard plan. The Basic plan will get you SD and one concurrent stream, Standard gets you HD and three concurrent streams and Premium will get you 4K streaming and four 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.
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 two (Netflix) and three (Stan) simultaneous streams for their Standard plans, which also come with HD quality streaming.
Things get even 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 slightly cheaper.
All in all, both services are pretty evenly priced, although Stan has two extra bonus points for offering an additional concurrent stream for the Standard plan and a lower price for its Premium offering.
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, in January 2020 Netflix Australia had 1,839 TV shows and 3,605 movies with a total of 5,444 titles. Meanwhile, Stan had 499 TV shows and 1,727 movies with a total of 2,226 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 six 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.
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, BoJack Horseman and Orange Is the New Black are bona fide hits with both critics and fans. On the same note, movies like The Irishman, Marriage Story and The Two Popes won the streaming service plenty of hype during awards season.
Netflix did lose some of its 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 and The Good Place, so there’s still plenty 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.
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 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 Better Call Saul, Power, Billions and Will & Grace, to name a few.
Additionally, Stan started implementing a successful strategy in the last couple of years – 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. Titles include Friends, The Office, Parks and Recreation, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Scrubs, Veronica Mars, The Vampire Diaries and Seinfeld. So if you like to re-watch old faves, Stan would be the obvious choice.
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. Maybe the strongest content partnership Netflix has in the children's department is Dreamworks, which has allowed it to produce quality original series like Trollhunters, Dragons: Riders of Berk and Home. Netflix also has a feature that allows children to browse through an age-appropriate library without being able to see titles to movies that are not meant for them.
Stan's non-exclusive agreement with Viacom gives it the rights to content from Nickelodeon and Nick Jr., with popular shows like Octonauts and iCarly. Children will also be able to stream classics like Thomas and Friends, Bob the Builder and Mister Maker. Similarly, Stan also has a dedicated kids' profile, so the little ones can stream without the danger of accidentally stumbling across a grisly murder show.
All well and good, but if you’re mainly interested in children’s programming, fresh streaming service Disney+ may be a better fit. Otherwise, there’s plenty for the little ones to watch on both Netflix and Stan.
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. Netflix is compatible with more models of game consoles and Stan with more smart TVs, but other than that things are pretty even.
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. Same goes for Stan. At the three separate plan tiers (Basic, Standard and Premium) Stan users can access SD, HD and 4K respectively.
Do these two 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.
So, should I get Netflix or Stan?
Netflix and Stan are solid streaming services, so you can’t go wrong with either one. If iconic TV 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 one-month 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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