Streaming services have become commonplace in Australian homes. Now, Aussies have a whole host of media streaming services to choose from, the most popular options being Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime, and Foxtel Now.
The question is, which is the best streaming service in Australia? If you’re only going to subscribe to one, which will offer the best bang for your buck? In this article, we’ll compare price, streaming quality, range of TV shows and movies, and kids’ content. Let’s get started right away.
(Keep in mind, this article was published in November 2018.)
The best streaming service in Australia: price
One of the best things about having so many streaming services in the market is the competitive pricing. Let’s see how each service stacks up.
The price of Netflix in Australia
Netflix pricing starts at just $8.99 per month. For that, you’ll get a single stream in standard definition. This may appeal to those that live alone or have just one device and don’t have a particularly great internet connection.
For $11.99 per month, you’ll get a dual-stream subscription with HD streaming quality.
Finally, Netflix’s premium subscription comes in at $14.99 per month. For that, you’ll get access to 4K streams on up to four devices simultaneously. This option is ideal for families.
The price of Stan in Australia
Stan has opted for a no-nonsense price point of just $10 per month for the entire Stan library streaming at a maximum resolution of 1080p.
If you’re after 4K, you can upgrade to Premium Stan for $15 per month. Do keep in mind that Stan has just nine of its exclusive TV shows and movies in 4K quality.
The price of Amazon Prime’s streaming service in Australia
Amazon’s streaming service is quite a lot cheaper than the others on the market. New subscribers can access their full library for US$4.99 per month for the first six months. After that, it’ll be US$6.99 per month.
The price of Foxtel Now in Australia
Foxtel Now offers a range of different content packages, so you can tailor your subscription to the types of TV shows and movies you watch.
The cheapest subscription comes in at $25 per month – this includes the Pop and Lifestyle packs. You will probably need to subscribe to a few different packages to build up a decent library of available content. These packs all come with their own price tag – the drama pack is $15 per month, and the movies pack is $20 per month. Unfortunately, you must subscribe to the Starter pack (Pop and Lifestyle) and then add on any additional packs you’d like access to.
For all of the packs, you’ll be paying a pretty steep $104 per month.
The best streaming service in Australia: streaming quality
All services we have mentioned offer HD streams (except Netflix’s lowest tier subscription). That being said, Netflix trumps the rest when it comes to streaming quality. Here’s why:
- It offers the most 4K HDR content (if you subscribe to Netflix’s highest tier subscription)
- Almost all Netflix Originals are available in 4K
- Netflix streams in HDR (high-dynamic-range)
- The service offers an adaptive bit rate that adjusts automatically based on the quality and speed of your internet connection, so you’re always streaming at the maximum possible quality
Stan also offers adaptive bit rate technology, and also allows users to select the streaming quality manually. Again, their 4K resolution is only available with the premium subscription.
Amazon Prime Video does offer 4K content, though it can be difficult to tell which content is available in which quality.
Foxtel Now claims to offer HD streams, but users have found the quality to be hit and miss. Some report the colours being oversaturated, blurry, and a far cry from the quality other popular streaming services are offering.
The best streaming service in Australia: TV shows and movies
Deciding definitively which services offer the best range of TV shows and movies is tricky. It all depends on what you like to watch. Maybe there’s a particular series you are interested in that’s only available on one of the streaming services we are comparing.
What we can say is this: Netflix probably offers the best range of TV and movie classics and exceptional original content (House of Cards and Orange is the New Black are two Netflix TV shows on the must-watch list).
Both Stan and Amazon have created original content too. Stan has also secured some pretty big-hitting exclusives, including the Twin Peaks revival and Better Call Saul.
If it’s HBO TV shows you love (including Game of Thrones), you’ll need to invest in Foxtel Now.
The best streaming service in Australia: kids’ content
All streaming services have strengths and weaknesses when it comes to kids’ content.
Netflix has a partnership with Walt Disney and Dreamworks and has reinterpreted many of the classics (Puss in Boots, How to Train your Dragon, Spirit) into Netflix original TV shows. Netflix also offers movies from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm, which should keep the kids entertained.
Stan, too, has a pretty good range of kids’ content, especially with their partnerships with Turner Broadcasting (Cartoon Network), the ABC, and Viacom.
Amazon Prime’s collection isn’t as comprehensive as Netflix’s or Stan’s, and while Foxtel is home to favourite kids’ channels Nickelodeon and the Disney channel, the only way to access these is via the All Packs bundle ($104 per month) we mentioned above.
The best streaming service in Australia: our verdict
After considering the price, quality, and range of content, we believe that Netflix tops the bunch, with Stan coming in at a close second. The collection of Netflix Originals continues to grow and still maintains a high level of quality. In fact, their content is beginning to give HBO a run for its money.
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