Which streaming service should you sign up for?

10 March 2015

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With Stan. and Presto having recently launched, and Netflix’s debut just around the corner, online streaming has never been more accessible in Australia.

If you are under tight budget constraints you probably can’t sign up to all three services. This breakdown of each service will provide you with the information you need when deciding where to invest your modest funds.






With more than 50 million subscribers worldwide, including 340,000 Australians accessing the US version, Netflix seems like the obvious choice. However, the Australian version of the service, due to launch on 24 March, will have a smaller selection of titles than its North American counterpart.

Tech Guide and News Corp have both reported that prices will start from $9.99 a month but this has yet to be confirmed.

Netflix has put its original series at the forefront of its advertising. The launch will include the historical drama Marco Polo, Shrek spin-off The Adventures of Puss in Boots, Tina Fey-produced Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and, despite reports to the contrary, House of Cards.

Upcoming series include Marvel’s Daredevil and Wet Hot American Summer: First Day at Camp – a prequel to the cult classic film.

Little is known outside of its original offerings, though Netflix recently announced that a deal has been made with The Walt Disney Company, giving the service access to much of Disney’s library. This includes exclusive rights to recent hits Guardians of the Galaxy, Frozen and Big Hero 6, as well as classics like Monsters Inc. and Up.

In short, Netflix has not given away much information about its Australian service, instead relying on its original series and Disney programming to attract subscribers.






Stan. is a joint venture by Nine and Fairfax Media that launched last month. The service costs $10 a month but offers a free 30-day trial that most, if not all, of its users are currently on.

Stan. has opened with a variety of fan favourite film and television series, most notably Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul, as well as the original show itself. Other shows exclusive to Stan. include the critically acclaimed Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle. It will also air the sixth season of cult favourite Community.

Other popular shows offered by Stan. include Sherlock, Fargo, South Park, Orphan Black, Hannibal, Star Trek, all of the CSIs, Dexter, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Doctor Who.

A deal with MGM has given Stan. the rights to all 23 Bond films and many other films like 21 Jump Street, The Silence of the Lambs and the Rocky franchise.

Stan. has also made a deal with Roadshow Entertainment, resulting in access to new releases such as The LEGO Movie, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and The Wolf of Wall Street.

No original content is available yet, but Stan. has announced two Australian mini-series are in production.

Stan. appears to offer more content than Netflix, but this could be because the latter company is yet to reveal its full library. The only real downside to Stan. is the current lack of original content.






Presto is a joint venture by Foxtel and Seven that charges $9.99 a month for access to either its television library or film library, with an option of $14.99 a month for both libraries. Like Stan, it offers a 30-day free trial.

Presto’s television offering is lacking compared to Netflix and Stan. Deals with HBO and Showtime have guaranteed access to a few popular shows, like The Sopranos, Entourage and earlier seasons of Girls and True Blood. Despite the HBO deal, Presto does not have the rights to Game of Thrones.

Presto does, however, offer an extensive film library with hundreds of movies available. Netflix’s deal with Disney could render this moot, as it will allow Netflix to stream some of Presto’s most advertised films, particularly those by Pixar and Marvel Studios.

Presto’s website has the upper hand on Stan. and Netflix’s sites as it allows potential subscribers to browse its library before signing up.

The main drawbacks of Presto are the higher price for complete access and the limited selection of TV shows.


Which service should you sign up for?

Stan. and Netflix seem to be better choices than Presto, especially if you are more interested in streaming television rather than films. Out of the two, both have their merits.

Stan. offers a wider variety of content but lacks anything as enticing as Netflix’s original content and exclusive access to Disney’s latest blockbusters. In fairness to Netflix, we probably won’t see its entire library until the debut, but until then Stan. stands out as the most comprehensive and affordable service.


Ethan Miller

Ethan Miller is a third-year Bachelor of Journalism student at La Trobe University. You can follow him on Twitter: @ethanmiller1994.