Netflix, Stan and Spotify have revolutionised the way we consume media but it can be a pricey hobby without the right plan. We've compared providers with unmetered streaming options.
When Netflix was announced in Australia, the country reached critical mass as our digital entertainment choices multiplied in front of our eyes. To simplify the choices for Australian consumers, we put together comparisons for TV shows and movies available on Netflix, Stan and Presto.
What is unmetered streaming?
Unmetered streaming is when your internet service provider (ISP) has a deal with a streaming service that allows customers to stream without using their data allowance. Many Australian consumers may not realise that more and more ISPs are offering data free streaming. Those that have might be considering jumping to another provider.
To make that decision easier for consumers we made a table comparing the unmetered streaming options available.
|Service||Netflix||Stan||Foxtel Now||ABC iview||Itunes||Spotify||Apple music||Googleplay music||OVOplay||Total|
How to pick the right provider
While more and more ISPs are offering data free streaming for services, it is important to understand no provider offers unmetered streaming across every service you're likely to use. Optus may provide the most options at the moment but they leave heavyweights like Apple Music and Foxtel Now out of frame. Most likely if one provider doesn’t have the streaming service you’re looking for, another does.
If you do decide to switch, go for a provider that offers unmetered data for your most used service. On average, Netflix users stream around 1 and a half hours of Netflix per day. Over the course of a week that adds up to over 7 GBs of data. If upgraded to HD then that figure more than quadruples to 31.5 GBs of data. Having Netflix and other services unmetered can potentially save your data allowance. It does, however, depend on your usage for these services. So don’t switch providers for unmetered Netflix, Stan, etc if you don't use these services often.
Unless you are already looking to switch providers the struggle of switching ISP’s isn’t worth the effort for a few services to be data free (unless you binge watch Netflix for several hours a day). Another point to note: not all providers offer unmetered streaming but many offer unlimited data. This means that even if a service is metered, no extra data is charged. However, unlimited plans can be more expensive. If you watch a lot of Netflix but in turn have moderate data needs, a plan with a fixed data allowance might work. It is best to look for an option that suits your data allocation.
Should you switch providers for unmetered streaming?
Saves the data allowance - watching unmetered can save gigabytes upon gigabytes of your data allowance.
Unmetered streaming saves money - if you watch/listen to streaming services often then data free streaming can save a substantial amount of money.
The hassle - Switching providers can be a hassle and just to get one or two services data-free may not be worth it. Especially if you don’t use these streaming services often. If you're on an unlimited deal already, it doesn't make sense.
Limited options - While more and more providers are making deals with streaming services, the options are still slim. It's likely there isn’t an ISP that provides all the unmetered streaming services you want.
Our top picks for streaming in Australia
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