Your complete guide to video on demand: What’s on offer?

Subscription video on demand (SVOD) has well and truly arrived as an entertainment option of choice for Australians in 2015, marking a significant shift in the media landscape. Australians are now increasingly going online to access video content, with an array of services, both local and international, on offer.

SVODs steep growth this year has seen competition heating up among providers, which in turn have been bolstering their libraries with an assortment of television and movie content. The arrival of US streaming giant Netflix this year made an immediate impression on the market, with other providers, such as Stan and Presto TV, also having arrived in 2015, staking their claim for market share.

As noted by Roy Morgan Research in August, at the beginning of the year the idea of paying for television content had been practically synonymous with Foxtel. This has changed in short time, with the arrival of Netflix altering the make-up of the market, significantly expanding the pay TV market as a whole and drawing consumer attention to SVOD services.

Telstra TV has also arrived this week, complete with combined access to Netflix, Stan and Presto, and could well provide another boost for the market, potentially introducing SVOD to a fresh demographic beyond the early adopters. This makes it an opportune time to look at some of the services on offer.

Some background on SVOD

Video content streamed over an internet connection, SVOD offers flexibility over traditional television media as it can be accessed across a range of devices, from smart televisions to smartphones.

Typically offered as a commercial-free, monthly subscription service, SVOD breaks the model of locking consumers into long-term contracts, and, as consumers generally have their own devices good-to-go, there is no need for set-up fees – it is simply a matter of downloading and installing the provider’s app.

The SVOD model generally sees consumers offered unlimited access to the provider’s library of content over the course of their subscription. Consumers can access content when and where (provided they have a mobile internet connection) they please, with a compatible device and capable internet connection all that is required.

So, what services are on offer?


Netflix is the name most commonly associated with SVOD, with the streaming provider having embarked on steady expansion around the globe in recent years, landing in the local market in March.

Roy Morgan figures released this month show that the number of Australian homes with Netflix has grown by 100,000 a month since its launch, totalling 968,000 at the end of September, representing 10.5 per cent of homes, reaching 2.63 million Australians aged 14-plus.

Netflix offers a range of content, from movies to TV series, and also produces its own original content. Netflix TV series include: Orange Is the New Black, House of Cards, Bloodline, Marco Polo, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Marvel’s Daredevil and Sense8.

Netflix can be streamed via a variety of devices, including:

  • Smart televisions
  • Media streaming players
  • Set-top boxes
  • Blu-ray players
  • Sony’s PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4
  • Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Xbox One
  • Nintendo’s Wii U
  • Apple TV
  • Google Chromecast
  • Selected Android smartphones and tablets
  • Selected iPhones and iPads
  • Fetch TV
  • Telstra TV
  • PCs and laptops

Netflix offers three pricing plans, starting at $8.99 for its single-stream standard-definition plan, with its two-stream high-definition plan costing $11.99 and four-stream 4K ultra-high definition “family” plan costing $14.99. Netflix offers users a free one-month trial.


Stan, the product of a Nine Entertainment Co. and Fairfax Media joint venture, launched in January of this year, and like Netflix offers users access to a library of content featuring both television series and movies.

The Stan content library ranges from classic catalogues to blockbuster movies, with Stan stating it offers thousands of hours of programming across categories encompassing drama, comedy, kids, real-life and documentary.

Currently listed TV shows featuring on Stan include dramas: Power, The Good Wife, UnREAL, Better Call Saul, Justified and Breaking Bad; along with comedies: Drop Dead Diva, Nurse Jackie, Community, Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle and South Park.

Currently listed movies include: The Expendables 3, Begin Again, The Wolf of Wall Street, Sex and the City 2, Edge of Tomorrow and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Stan can be accessed via a range of devices, including:

  • Selected Samsung smart televisions and Blue-ray players
  • PlayStation 3 and 4
  • Apple TV
  • Telstra TV
  • Google Chromecast
  • Selected Android smartphones and tablets running Android 4.2 and above
  • iPhones (iPhone 4 and above) and iPads (iPad 2 and above) running iOS 7 and above
  • PCs and laptops

Stan, which offers titles in standard and high-definition, is priced at $10 per month, with users able to register up to six devices at any one time and watch on three separate devices at once via the one account. Users can also take advantage of a free 30-day trial.


Presto TV, a Foxtel and Seven West Media joint venture, was also launched in January of this year, joining the existing Presto Movies service.

Presto TV’s content encompasses drama, comedy, kids, reality, Australian-made, documentary, sci-fi and thrillers, and sports, with currently listed shows including: The Walking Dead, Mr. Robot, True Blood, Mad Men, Parks and Recreation, The Sopranos, Heroes, Wentworth, Casper’s Scare School and Adventure Time.

Presto Movies’ currently listed movies include: The Gambler, Paddington, Nightcrawler, Boyhood, The Wedding Ringer, The Interview, October Sky, Michael Clayton, Sin City and Invictus. Presto can be accessed via devices, including:

  • Selected Samsung smart TV models
  • Telstra TV and Telstra T-Box
  • Apple TV (with AirPlay)
  • Google Chromecast
  • Selected Android smartphones and tablets running Android 4.1 and above
  • iPhones (iPhone 4 and above) and iPads (iPad 2 and above) running iOS 6 and above
  • PCs and laptops

Users can watch different titles on two different devices at once, and register up to four devices per account.

Presto TV and Presto Movies are both available as standalone services, each carrying a price tag of $9.99 per month, while the two also come packaged together as Presto Entertainment, priced at $14.99 per month. Presto offers users a free one-month trial.


Quickflix has been a mainstay of the Australian SVOD market, having launched the streaming side of its business back in 2011.

Quickflix offers users access to a range of standard and high-definition television and movie content, with its currently listed TV shows including: The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Orphan Black, Entourage, Nashville, Hung and The West Wing.

Currently listed movies include: Jobs, Descendants, Tomorrowland, Tad, the Lost Explorer, Room in Rome, Ghostbusters, Avengers: Age of Ultron and The Perfect Host.

Users can access Quickflix via a range of devices, including:

  • Smart televisions (selected Samsung, Sony, LG and Panasonic models)
  • PlayStation 3 and 4
  • Xbox 360 and Xbox One
  • Kindle Fire
  • Compatible Windows Phone devices
  • Compatible Android smartphones and tablets
  • Compatible iPhones and iPads
  • Google Chromecast
  • PCs and laptops
  • TiVo
  • Humax
  • Kobo
  • Oppo

Quickflix is offered month-by-month, at a price of $9.99 per month. In addition to Quickflix’s streaming service, premium movies and television are also offered at a cost of $5.99 per movie and $2.99 per television episode, with no subscription required, with the movies available over a 48-hour period and the episodes for purchase.

Time to get online?

Each of these SVOD providers offer a range of content, and consumers would do well to look into the respective libraries of each provider before signing up for a service, bearing in mind that it’s not always about the number of hours on offer, but also the quality of the content.

All of the providers looked at offer a high-definition option (with Netflix also offering 4K), and the extra data and bandwidth that these services consume should be kept in mind.

Some internet service providers also offer quota-free access to certain SVOD services – another factor consumers should take into account.

While the services listed are among the most popular in Australia, consumers should shop around and look at all options. There are also many free services available, such as the ABC’s iview and SBS’s SBS On Demand services, which are worth having a look at.

Other articles you might like

Telstra TV: What you need to know

Best home value broadband: The more data the better?

Netflix helping to reduce piracy, research shows

Share this article