Every major Australian streaming service, compared
Who’s it for? The all-rounder.
What does it cost? $10.99 per month.
Netflix is the default streaming service, a shared cultural touchpoint, synonymous with TV itself. However, more often than not, Netflix disappoints me with its limited array of films and TV, as the company shifts increasingly towards pioneering its own original content. In saying that, Netflix’s slate of original content is strong, boasting such series as Stranger Things, Ozark, Mindhunter, The Crown, Peaky Blinders, and Bojack Horseman. What’s more, Netflix has made a real effort to position itself as a legitimate production company in Hollywood, with a profile that includes The Irishman, Marriage Story, The Two Popes, and Roma, and an upcoming array of projects from the likes of Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7) and David Fincher (Mank). Overall, it’s kind of impossible not to recommend the service if you’re at all invested in the aforementioned content, or the direction of pop culture generally.
Who’s it for? The lover of all things film and TV.
What does it cost? $10 per month.
Stan, Australia’s first major streaming service, offers a diverse collection of popular films (The Godfather trilogy; Pulp Fiction; the entire James Bond collection), acclaimed TV series (Seinfeld; Mad Men; Breaking Bad; Better Call Saul; 30 Rock; Killing Eve), and cult classics (Twin Peaks; Freaks and Geeks). And while Stan suffered a blow when it lost the rights to Disney's catalogue, it continues to offer a wide-range of options and remains my first port of call for movies and TV, both the popular and the obscure.
Who’s it for? The person who missed the critically acclaimed films of 2019.
What does it cost? $6.99 per month.
Amazon’s Prime Video is a little more obscure than its streaming service counterparts, with a fairly limited content library. Having said that, Amazon has made significant strides in recent years in producing its own original content, including The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and The Boys. The platform also offers a strong selection of popular 2019 films that aren’t available for streaming elsewhere, like Little Women, The Lighthouse, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Joker, Knives Out, and Midsommar. This, if nothing else, sets Prime Video apart from other services, and if you’re a movie lover, then $6.99 a month feels like good value. Oh, and if you’re still not sold, it also has Fleabag.
Who’s it for? The TV obsessive.
What does it cost? $10 per month.
Binge, a streaming service recently launched by Foxtel, is for TV lovers, plain and simple. What it lacks in a vast range of films it compensates for with an extensive array of the greatest TV hits, including access to HBO and HBO Max content, something which has never before been available to stream in Australia. Indeed, Binge has made popular TV easy to access: whether it’s the brand new hit (I May Destroy You), the acclaimed fan favourites
(Succession; Watchmen; Euphoria) or the beloved classic (Game of Thrones; The Wire; The Sopranos; True Detective; Atlanta; Sex and the City; Veep; Big Little Lies; Chernobyl; The Americans) – it’s all there.
Who’s it for? That's unclear.
What does it cost? $5 per month.
My biggest problem with Apple TV+ is that it doesn’t seem to really know what it is. Its library is fairly limited, and the company seems more focused on curating an assortment of original content (glossy and expensive, in true Apple style). And while I enjoyed The Morning Show, I can’t say the collection as a whole carries much appeal – for me personally, or for audiences generally. It will be interesting to see what direction Apple takes the service, particularly in light of the expanding streaming service landscape, but for now, I can’t say I recommend it.
Who’s it for? Probably everyone.
What does it cost? $8.99.
I’ll admit I didn’t really want to venture into the Disney+ waters if I could help it. However, the power that Disney holds – seemingly in perpetuity – has never been more evident than it is here, with its streaming service operating as a singular reminder that Disney, being the mammoth corporation that it is, really does own Hollywood, at least as we’ve known in it in the past decade or so. While the Disney+ library isn't nearly as comprehensive as Netflix or Stan’s, Disney seems to be aware of that fact: content to nestle alongside its streaming service counterparts with a vast collection of Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar content.