The ultimate guide to streaming services in Australia

Fed up with looking back and forth between eighteen different streaming services and almost thirty different price points, and losing track of what shows were where; the ‘Ultimate Guide to Streaming’ in Australia now exists so that we can finally have all the information on one page.

What streaming services are worth, for what it’s worth.

Binge watching is one of Australia’s favourite pastimes, but it’s bloody hard trying to figure out where to watch what you want to see. The ultimate guide to streaming services was created to help us get us through the end of isolation — to fill the time, and because the only thing to chat with friends about right now is whatever we’ve been watching.

As a twenty-something millennial now stuck at home with nothing to do, I’ve found myself, like many others, binge watching my way through all of the shows and movies I wanted to watch when I was busy.

But… Where do I watch those? Who has them? How much is it?

Fed up with looking back and forth between eighteen different streaming services and almost thirty different price points, and losing track of what shows were where; the ‘Ultimate Guide to Streaming’ in Australia now exists so that we can finally have all the information on one page.

You will find listed the price, pros, cons, where you can watch it, and what to start watching, for each service. Find out which streaming service is truly for you!

Netflix

You’re probably already subscribed. But here are the comparisons...


Price:
$9.99 per month
Basic plan:
SD, 1 stream at a time,
watch offline
$13.99 per month
Standard plan:
HD (1080p), 2 simultaneous streams,
watch offline
$19.99 per month
Premium plan:
4K (Ultra HD), 4 simultaneous streams,
watch offline

Pros: Cons:
Some Netflix Originals are pure quality
(see: Marriage Story, American Factory,
and their respective Academy Award wins)
Some Netflix Originals are pure rubbish
(see: Bright, The Ranch, The Ridiculous Six,
and their respective review scores online)
Recently acquired Studio Ghibli (My
Neighbour Totoro, Spirited Away, etc.) film
distribution rights
No "see all shows" view option available
Has the most varied content of all platforms Has difficulty sorting their content into
concise and accurate categories
Multiple accounts per subscription means
everyone in your household can curate
their Netflix recommendations to their
own tastes

Available on:
Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Microsoft Store, your internet browser, Playstation, Xbox, Smart TVs, streaming devices

Exclusives to watch:
The Good Place — Quintessential existential comedy
Queer Eye — The Fab 5 makeover people who need help realising their inner strength and beauty
Tiger King — The sordid tale of Joe Exotic, the big cat parks of America, and the crimes behind the scenes


Stan

The first big streaming provider on the Australian landscape.

Price:
30 day free trial
$10 per month
Basic plan:
SD, 1 stream at a time,
watch offline
$14 per month
Standard plan:
HD, 3 simultaneous streams,
watch offline
$17 per month
Premium plan:
4K, 4 simultaneous streams,
watch offline
Pros: Cons:
Australian owned It's hard to talk about your favourite
Stan-exclusive shows, when no one
else seems to have Stan
Australian content
Stan Premium is cheaper than Netflix
Premium
Tonnes of bingeable NBC shows (e.g.
The Office, 30 Rock, Parks and
Recreation, etc.)


Available on:
Apple app Store, Google Play store, Microsoft Store, your internet browser, Playstation, Xbox, Smart TVs, streaming devices

Exclusives to watch:
Broad City
— Two broads trying to make it in New York
The Fosters — Making family, and the drama that comes with it
Claws — Manicurists try their hands at organised crime


Amazon Prime Video

Amazon’s answer to Netflix.

Pros: Cons:
Free and fast shipping via Amazon
Prime, included in subscription
Supports the Bezos monopoly
Has exclusivity deals for Neil Gaiman
book-turned-series shows
Includes Twitch Prime subscription
(see below)

Available on:
Apple App Store, Google Play Store, in your browser, Playstation, Xbox, Smart TVs, Streaming devices

Exclusives to watch:
The Boys — Who keeps the supers in check?
Good Omens — Angel and demon besties try to prevent Armageddon
The Expanse — A police detective and rogue starship captain work to expose a Solar System wide conspiracy plot.

Disney+

The convenient and nostalgic monopoly.

Price:
7 day free trial
$8.99 per month
subscription:
4K, 4 simultaneous streams,
watch offline
or $89.99 per year
subcription
Pros: Cons:
Nostalgia Rerofits old SD shows into HD, which either
cuts off part of the footage, or stretches the
footage to seem HD, but super squashed
Wide variety of Disney, Marvel, Fox, and
Star Wars content
Minor playback issues were encountered
on iOS app
Has National Geographic docos
from the past, and new ones in
production
You may find yourself saying "Since when
has Disney owned this?"
The concept of The Disney Vault is
finally dead
It's difficult to browse for something to watch;
despite so much available content, initial
menus showcase the same films, shows,
and categories over and over


Available on:
Apple App Store, Google Play Store, your internet browser, Playstation, Xbox, Smart TVs, streaming devices 

Exclusives to watch:
The Mandalorian — The Baby Yoda show
The Marvel Cinematic Universe —From Iron Man (2008) to Avengers: Endgame (2019)
The Disney movies from your childhood — yes, even the obscure ones


Apple TV+

Apple getting into the game.

Pros: Cons:
Excellent production values shine through
in all Apple TV+ exclusive shows, just
like with their phone products
Surprise charge in 2021 if you've forgotten
you've even activated the year long trial and
didn't like it/use it
New exclusive content every month Apple TV+ shows and films available to
stream are hidden in between other
purchasable films and shows from the
iTunes Store
Previously purchased shows and movies are
now in the Library menu in the TV app, in
case you were wondering there those went.
There's a lack of content compared to
similarly priced subscriptions

Available on:
Apple App Store, in your browser, Smart TVs, streaming devices (including Apple TVs)

Exclusives to watch:
For All Mankind
— What if Russian cosmonauts landed on the moon first?
Visible: Out on Television — Hear from LGBTQIA+ icons about the history of representation on TV
Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet — Hijinks ensue for the motley crew behind the game Mythic Quest

Foxtel Now

Foxtel but on the internet.

Price:
10 day free trial
$25 per month Essentials + Pop and Lifestyle plan:
+ $29 per month to add Sports
+ $20 per month to add Movies
+ $10 per month to add Drama Extra
or $104 per month Get it All plan
Optional $99 one time payment for a Foxtel Now box
streaming device


Available on:
Apple App Store (via Foxtel GO), in your browser (via Foxtel GO), Playstation, Smart TVs, streaming devices (including Foxtel Now box)

Exclusives to watch:
WWE Smackdown Live — Wrestling rivals fight it out in the ring!
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver — American news and politics from British born host John Oliver
Westworld — Robotic ‘Hosts’ and a created world without consequences; how do the human visitors live out their fantasies?

ABC iView

Where the home-grown content is.

Price:
Free
No log in necessary
Pros: Cons:
No ads Small backlog: typically only has a few
seasons available of long-running shows
Majority Australian programming
Has "all programs" view option

Available on:
Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Smart TVs, streaming devices

Exclusives to watch:
ABC NEWS live stream — Keep updated on the latest news
Gruen — How the world of advertising and marketing makes you buy
You Can’t Ask That — People of various ethnicities, disabilities, careers, ages, and more answer the questions you shouldn’t ask them


7Plus

Host of reality, lifestyle, medical dramas, and Home and Away.

Price:
Free
Log in necessary
Pros: Cons:
Has a "Shows A-Z" view option Ads
Includes content from all Seven Network
channels (7 Mate, 7 Flix, ect.)
Why is it always car ads?
Less ads watching 7 online than
watching via TV
Can watch livestreams of the channels,
or on demand content

Available on:
Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Smart TVs, streaming devices

Exclusives to watch:
My Kitchen Rules — Australia’s premiere cooking drama show
The Good Doctor — A savant doctor on the autism spectrum works hard to become a good doctor
James May’s Toy Stories — Some of our favourite toys on a grand scale


9Now

Renovation nation.

Price:
Free
Log in necessary
Pros: Cons:
Has the best variety of children's shows
of all the free platforms
Ads
Includes content from all 9 Entertainment
channels (GO!, Gem, ect.)
Limited (2-5) episodes of each non 9
Entertainment show are available
online
Less ads watching 9 online than
watching via TV
Married at First Sight is listed as 'reality'
when it's clearly schadenfreude comedy
Can watch livestreams of the channels,
or on demand content


Available on:
Apple App Store, Google Play Store, in your browser, Playstation, Smart TVs, streaming devices

Exclusives to watch:
The Block — Pairs of people from across Australia compete via house renovations to sell high and win
The Amazing World of Gumball — A visually colourful and textured cartoon
Married at First Sight — Australia’s greatest schadenfreude comedy


Ten All Access

CBS hosts its shows on Channel Ten’s paid subscription service.

Price:
30 day free trial
$9.99 per month:
4K, 3 simultaneous streams
Pros: Cons:
CBS content
(NCIS, Survivor, The Bachelor, etc.)
Limited exclusive content
Includes access to content from
10 Play
Limited Australian content
Jamie Oliver cooking shows Limited variety in content
Plenty of crime and thriller content


Available on:
Apple App Store, Google Play Store, in your browser, streaming devices

Exclusives to watch:
Sabrina the Teenage Witch — Sabrina tries to navigate becoming a witch, and becoming a high schooler
The Twilight Zone (2019) — The classic revived for the modern age
The Good Wife — A former lawyer turned stay at home mum returns to the court after her husband goes to jail 


SBS On Demand

Worldwide content free for all.

Price:
Free
Log in necessary
Pros: Cons:
Content from around the world: in
several languages, easy to find,
on one service
Ads
Features content by Aboriginal,
Indigenous, and Torres Strait Islander
peoples
Top notch docos and comedies
Season 7 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine is
being uploaded exclusively on SBS
On Demand each week, while other
services only have seasons 1 -6


Available on:
Apple App Store, Google Play Store, in your browser, Smart TVs, streaming devices

Exclusives to watch:
Dark Science — Aboriginal elders share stories of Country, and we see how modern scientific practice can learn from them
Brooklyn Nine-Nine — Follow the 99th precinct squad on zany, yet heartfelt, comedic adventures
Destination Flavour Singapore — Adam Liaw tours the food of Singapore

Crunchyroll

Anime, live action drama, and manga straight from Japan.

Price:
14 day free trial
$7.99 per month
Premium membership:
HD, no ads, discounts in the Crunchyroll
store for anime merchandise
$25 per month
Premium+ membership:
Includes Premium plan perks, VIP convention
perks at Crunchyroll events, entry into
Premium+ exclusive contests, early access
to new site and app features
Pros: Cons:
Access translated manga (Japanese
graphic novels) included in your
subscription
The worst user interface of all the
streaming services
Can choose from Japanese audio with
English subtitles, and English audio
without subtitles for popular shows
The name makes me want to eat
crunchyrolls
Stream new episodes as soon as an
hour after they air in Japan


Available on:
Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Microsoft Store, in your browser, Playstation, Xbox, Wii U, streaming devices

Exclusives to watch:
My Hero Academia — What makes a hero? Izuku Midoriya strives to become the greatest!
sweetness and lightning — A dad and his young daughter bond over cooking and eating new food
Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! — A trio of friends join forces to make their own anime


Hayu

The specialists for Kardashian style reality drama.

Price:
30 day free trial
$6.99 per month:
HD, no ads
Pros: Cons:
Has the biggest library of reality shows
of any service
Low production values
Has cooking reality and true crime shows
for variety
Limited Australian content
New episodes are uploaded the same
day as they air in the US
On certain Smart TVs, the Hayu
app is difficult to navigate via remote
Schadenfreude Overdosing on this type of TV
when you're not a frequent viewer
can lead to existential reflection

Available on:
Apple App Store, Google Play Store, in your browser, streaming devices

Exclusives to watch:
Keeping up with the Kardashians — What are the billionaires up to this week?
Top Chef — My Kitchen Rules, but professionals, and perhaps less drama
Don’t be Tardy — Kim Zolciak-Biermann, her husband, and their six children - living their best lives

AnimeLab

Here comes a new challenger to the Anime streaming service market.

Price:
30 day free trial
$7.99 per month subscription:
HD, no ads
or $79.50 per year subscription
Pros: Cons:
Has Madman Entertainment owned
anime and live action shows and movies
No manga
Can choose from Japanese audio with
English subtitles, and English audio
without subtitles for popular shows
Limited live action content
Simultaneous broadcasting of new
episodes directly from Japan
Has "all Titles A-Z" view option

Available on:
Apple App Store, Google Play Store, in your browser, Playstation, Xbox

Exclusives to watch:
One Punch Man — One Punch Man can beat every villain in one punch! How boring for him
Nichijou – My Ordinary Life — A slice of life anime with unusual characters
Cells at Work! — Anthropomorphic cells in the human body work to fight off infection


Kayo

Live sports without dealing with Foxtel – the dream.

Price:
14 day free trial
$25 per month
Basic plan:
HD, 2 simultaneous streams
$35 per month
Premium plan:
HD, 3 simultaneous streams
Pros: Cons:
Livestreams and On Demand access to
50+ sports
Relies on live sports for its content: no
live sports means limited new uploads
Kayo Minis: 20 minute condensed shows
of sports matches with all the highlights
for the busy sports lover
Delayed coverage of some highly
anticipated events
(e.g. The AFL Grand Final)
"No Spoilers" setting locks off the scores
and results until you watch your match
Picture in picture feature
Shares distribution rights to many
commentary shows also available on
Foxtel (Like AFL 360, League Life,
SportsCenter, etc.)
It's not Foxtel


Available on:
Apple App Store, Google Play Store, your internet browser, Smart TVs, streaming devices

Exclusives to watch:
2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season  — Every match of every round, with delayed coverage of the Grand Final
Sonic Break — Kayo Short: follow Felix Baumgartner in his preparations to attempt his 128 kilometre freefall skydive from space
2019/20 Australia v New Zealand Cricket — Replay the test matches and the first ODI


YouTube Premium

Home of all the cat videos you could ever dream of.

Price:
30 day free trial
$14.99 per month
Individual plan:
4K, no ads, watch offline,
background play (on app),
Includes YouTube Music
$22.99 per month
Family plan:
5 family members/accounts
to a Family plan.
Includes Individual plan perks.
$8.99 per month
Student plan:
3 month free trial, annual
verification required.
Includes Individual plan perks.


Pros: Cons:
No more ads in front of 20 second long
videos
Comparatively expensive for so little
original content
Literally a world's worth of content at
your fingertips
Video recommendations tend to repeat
Support creators you love, while not
having to suffer the ads

Available on:
Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Microsoft Store, your internet browser, Playstation, Xbox, Switch, Smart TVs, streaming devices

Must watch (creators and channels):
Bon Appétit — The chefs from the Bon Appétit test kitchen show us how to cook, how to ferment, and how to make it all fancy
Jenna Marbles — Jenna spends her days wondering “what if”, and films the results
Good Mythical Morning — Rhett and Link greet us every week day with the answers to questions we never asked of them

Must Watch (YouTube Originals):
BTS: Burn the Stage — join K-Pop band BTS behind the scenes on their 2017 BTS Live Trilogy Episode: The Wings Tour
Mind Field — Vsauce’s Michael explores the human psyche
Kedi — Discover the stray cats of Istanbul and watch their day living beside humans in the city


Twitch Prime

Watch and interact with people all over the world.

Price:
30 day free trial
$6.99 per month
Amazon Prime membership:
HD, watch offline (via videos and clips
options), free shipping on Amazon
Prime goods
Pros: Cons:
Free games available each month
to keep forever
Supports the Bezos monopoly
One-time offer of free in-game items
for selected games
The most niche service available:you have
to find the content, and the people, you
like. This can be very difficult.
Free and fast shipping via Amazon
Prime, included in subscription
If you don't enjoy watching or engaging
with people online, you will not enjoy
this service.
Includes Prime Video subscription
(see above)
Variety: enjoy a nice chat with a group
of people, or watch someone paint, or
join someone gaming, or learn from
someone cooking, etc.


Available on:
Apple App Store, Google Play Store, your internet browser, Playstation, Xbox, streaming devices

Exclusives to watch:
doodleforfood – Megan McKay streams herself drawing her webcomic Doodle for Food
tiny — tiny sculpts adorable keycaps for mechanical keyboards, and also plays games
GamesDoneQuick — Gamers come onto the Games Done Quick Twitch channel to speed run games and raise money for charity


So which services are worth it?

After looking at the full range, the likes of Foxtel seem overpriced and undervalued when it comes to the totality of their programming options. There are alternative services that cater to specialty interests (such as Kayo and Hayu) which provide the same shows and events for a cheaper overall price, without ads and with more benefits. 

Otherwise, which services suit you best ultimately depends on what content you value.

Here’s some advice on what to consider and ask yourself when choosing your streaming services:

What do I like to watch?

These services all have their strong categories and genres to help you scratch whichever TV itch you have. Read through the articles and consider each service’s pros and cons, and find services that match your needs.

For example, if you like to watch home-grown television and support our local filming industries, consider signing up for Stan, and creating accounts on the free-to-air TV channels’ online websites.

If you would rather watch animated movies and shows which focus on being comedic and/or heartfelt; I suggest looking into Disney +, AnimeLab, and Crunchyroll.

Feel free to mix and match to get just the right amount of content for your binging needs. Do you like balancing out drama-filled reality shows with thought-provoking documentaries? Hayu and SBS On Demand are your friends.


Is it worth skipping the ads?

Advertisements have been the bane of watching television since the practice began in the 1940s. Thankfully, watching videos online typically have less ads playing before, during and after your show, but they will always be a pain to sit through.

If you frequently use a service that gives you ads, it's worth your time to consider if your time is worth wasting on those ads. Is it worth the monthly price to skip those time and data drainers?

(In my humble opinion; as expensive as YouTube Premium is, it means I can watch all the cats I want without having to suffer another car ad.)


Can I watch this anywhere else?

 This is particularly important to those interested in the niche services like Hayu, AnimeLab, and Kayo. Where else can you watch The Kardashians as soon as it airs? How do I watch anime without waiting a year and then paying an arm and a leg at JB Hifi for a DVD?

Also consider which shows and movies are exclusive to which service. Everyone loves to brag about their exclusivity rights, so a service’s exclusive content will be easy to find on their websites in list form.


What do I need from this service?

Do you need a streaming service which can give you separate accounts for everyone in your family? Do you need a service that lets you download films onto your tablet to watch on the go?
Do you want the most bang for your buck and get a plan that includes special perks?

Sometimes it’s easy to forget what you actually need a service to give you for your money. Be sure to read what benefits are offered in each plan underneath the price of every service.


Do I even want to watch what’s on there?

Don’t be afraid to shop around to see which streaming service has what you like. Most services offer generous free trial periods for first time users so you can get a feel for the shows and movies on them.

If you feel that Disney + just doesn’t have the nostalgic pull to keep you watching enough to justify $8.99 a month, no harm done. Simply deactivate your account/subscription before your free trial runs out.


What if I just want to see the one show?

Every streaming service mentioned has no lock in contracts*. Feel free to use the free trial, and maybe a month or two, to watch whatever has caught your eye and then move on to somewhere else.

Be sure to cancel your subscription when you do decide this, otherwise you may find yourself paying for two services at once.

*Foxtel does require a lock in contract. Use Foxtel Now instead to access Foxtel’s catalogue, while retaining the option to cancel payment a month later.


So which streaming services are worth it?

That’s for you to decide. By thinking about these questions, and with help from my ultimate guide to streaming services in Australia, the answer will be far easier to find.

Bonus stats: How the streaming services in Australia stack up in 2020

Source: JustWatch.com

Source: JustWatch.com


Alex Green

Hi, I'm Alex, a local Perth based self-confessed Anime addict.