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Paramount Plus vs Stan: Price, content and features compared
Choose your fighter. The showdown is about to begin.
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Whenever I hear about the launch of a new streaming service I can't help but feel a mix of excitement and dread. It's nice to have so much intriguing content right at our fingertips. Yet, whichever service you choose, you inevitably miss out on something else. Should you try this shiny new offering? Will it fix your problems or at least keep you distracted for long enough to forget about them? As far as Paramount Plus is concerned, you're about to find out.
The streaming service just arrived in Australia and is replacing 10 All Access, offering a lower price point and a bigger content library, live sport and movies included.
Paramount Plus is entering a market that's already crowded with everything from general-interest options like Netflix to niche services like BritBox. To figure out if it can survive the fierce competition, we're pitting it against Stan, a service that has been around for years and has grown into a force to be reckoned with.
Let's see which of these 2 options works better for you.
Stan vs Paramount Plus: Price, screens and video quality
The best thing about Paramount Plus is the price. For only $8.99 per month, you get access to a solid library of TV shows and movies, with reality TV and kids' content sprinkled in for good measure. There is also an annual subscription for $89.99. There are no ads and the platform will stream live football as well. No 4K video quality content is available, but there's a good chance that might change in the future. The subscription lets you watch on 3 screens at the same time.
Compared to other streaming services in Australia, Paramount Plus is a good deal. It offers a 7-day free trial, so you can sign up for a week and test it out. If you already had a 10 All Access subscription, you can use those credentials to sign in to Paramount Plus. You're getting more content, so it's definitely an upgrade.
Stan starts at $10 per month for the Basic plan, which lets you stream on 1 screen at a time in SD quality. The Standard plan costs $14 per month and buys you 3 simultaneous streams and HD content. Finally, there's the Premium plan, which lets you stream selected titles in 4K on 4 devices at the same time for $19 per month. All plans come with a 30-day free trial, more than enough time to decide if you want to keep Stan around for the long haul.
The big downside is that, regardless of which plan you choose, live sport is extra. Stan Sport, which offers a lot of rugby union live and on demand, is an add-on. You can opt to add it to your subscription at any time, but you can't subscribe to Stan Sport alone. The add-on comes with a 7-day free trial, after which it costs $10 per month. In other words, if you want the Standard plan with Sport, for instance, you'll pay a total of $24 per month.
How do the Stan and Paramount Plus content libraries compare?
Content is king. Luckily, both Stan and Paramount Plus come with captivating and generous libraries.
Stan wins as far as quantity is concerned. At the time of writing, we counted 692 TV shows and 2,509 movies in the platform's library. Stan rarely scores blockbuster movies and the quality of films on offer varies, but you can easily find titles worth your while. Highlights include Parasite, Heathers, In Bruges, Creed, The Magnificent Seven and True History of the Kelly Gang. The service also invests in original productions – Relic and I Am Woman are definitely worth a stream.
On the TV front Stan lost some titles to Paramount Plus, with the latter set to become the official home of Showtime premieres from now on – like the highly anticipated Dexter revival, scheduled to arrive in November 2021. Ongoing series like Billions should stay on Stan for the moment due to current licensing deals.
Elsewhere, Stan made a name for itself for streaming iconic television, hosting all seasons of popular series Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, Lost, Seinfeld, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Scrubs, to name a few. You can also stream hits like Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, a lot of British productions and new shows straight from the US due to Stan's partnerships with Starz and Peacock. The platform offers a great deal of original TV series too, like No Activity, Romper Stomper, Bloom, Eden and Bump, with more to come in the future. There's some kids' content, as well as reality television – beloved RuPaul's Drag Race included.
Paramount Plus launched in Australia with 301 movies and 286 TV shows. A lot of the series you could previously watch on 10 All Access but there are new, exclusive titles as well. You can stream dark comedy Two Weeks to Live, sitcom Everyone Is Doing Great, period drama Anne Boleyn, the iCarly revival and historical drama Leonardo. The second season of Aussie show Five Bedrooms is exclusively streaming on Paramount Plus.
Your Network 10 faves are there too, most notably Survivor, but also MasterChef and The Bachelor. The service offers a lot of crime procedurals like NCIS, CSI, Blue Bloods, SEAL Team and Hawaii Five-O. Showtime content includes Dexter, Ray Donovan, The Affair and Californication, among others.
Paramount Plus also offers titles from Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and Smithsonian Channel. That means a lot of kids' shows like SpongeBob SquarePants and Rugrats, MTV reality hits like Teen Mom and Ex on the Beach, plus a captivating collection of docos.
The highlight movie at launch was Infinite, a 2021 sci-fi thriller starring Mark Wahlberg. The rest of the film library consists of older titles – Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Pulp Fiction, Transformers and so on. They're good, but the downside is that you've probably already seen them on other services.
Finally, Stan Sport offers live and on-demand coverage of rugby union, tennis and the UEFA Champions League. Meanwhile, Paramount Plus is becoming the home of domestic football – it will stream the A-League, W-League and some matches of Australia's national teams. The platform doesn't have a section for sport yet, but it will likely come in the following weeks, along with further information of what the coverage will look like. Paramount Plus does feature a news section with a live stream of CBSN which works flawlessly at the moment.
All in all, the Paramount Plus library isn't as generous as Stan's, but there's enough there to appeal to viewers – especially if you're a fan of crime procedurals. Paramount Plus will bring more original production in the future, so it's worth keeping an eye on the service if you plan to wait a while before giving it a go.
Stan vs Paramount Plus: Devices, streaming experience and features
When it comes to streaming experience, Stan is the clear winner. First off, the service comes with robust device compatibility. It works on a wide variety of devices including smart TVs, game consoles and streaming players.
Additionally, Stan offers multiple profiles, a seamless user interface, the ability to download content on mobile devices, parental controls, subtitles and audio description for selected titles. The 4K content library isn't very extensive but it's growing.
Paramount Plus, on the other hand, delivers a very basic streaming experience at launch. The service works via web and on phones and tablets, Android TV/Google TV, Apple TV, Fire TV devices, Roku and Chromecast. It's compatible with Fetch and Telstra TV but it doesn't have any smart TV or game console apps.
Despite offering 3 simultaneous streams, the platform doesn't support multiple profiles. You can't add titles to a watchlist and the interface is a bit clunky, so it can be tricky to find what you're looking for unless you use the search function. Once you start watching something, it will appear in a Keep Watching section so at least you don't risk losing track of your ongoing binges. Pages for individual titles aren't rich in content, so you only get a short description of the show or movie, no further details included.
On the plus side, Paramount Plus does support offline viewing, so you can download titles to your mobile device. Closed captioning is available on most titles. The service also offers multiple profiles and 4K content in the US, so there's a good chance those features will make their way to Australia eventually.
So, should I get Stan or Paramount Plus?
As a person who mostly streams shows and movies using my laptop or phone, content is my main concern when deciding whether I should subscribe to a service.
If you're the same, I suggest browsing what's on offer from both services and deciding which has the most titles you're interested in. Stan has a bigger library, true – but if you're a big fan of crime procedurals, for instance, Paramount Plus would be a better fit. For sports fans, things are much more straightforward. You like domestic football, you go with Paramount Plus. You're into rugby union or the UEFA Champions League, you pick Stan.
Device compatibility should also be a factor, so make sure your preferred device is supported by the service you choose. Luckily, both platforms come with a free trial. Test them out and see which one comes out on top.
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