Streaming News

Popular Streaming Platforms in Australia

Everything you need to know about streaming

There’s no denying it – the world of television and the way in which we consume it has changed (and is continuing to change) drastically. Gone are the days of DVD rentals, waiting each week for the latest episode to air and pesky advertisements throughout a show. Now we have everything at our fingertips, and it’s all thanks to streaming services. Whether it’s subscription-based services such as Netflix, Stan and Foxtel, or free-to-air catch-up platforms such as ABC iView, 10Play and 9Now, there’s something out there for everyone, with Australia not short of options.

We’re becoming an on-demand society, and all it takes to fulfill our needs is a streaming platform, a quick search – oh, and an internet connection of course. So, to put it simply, the internet is increasingly becoming the default for our home entertainment. 20 years ago, who would’ve thought?

It’s understandable if you’re feeling a little confused or overwhelmed – there’s been a lot of changes, and it can be hard to keep up, especially with the streaming space becoming more competitive by the day. However, you’ve come to the right place to get the 411 on all things streaming, whether you’re looking to add a service to your home entertainment set-up, or you’re just looking to learn a bit about the technology.

To put it very simply, streaming = sharing. When you want to watch a movie on your television or computer, streaming technology is used to transmit said media from its origin device/platform directly to your screen, via the internet. Not to be confused with downloading (where you’ll actually have to wait for the content to be saved in entirety to your device), streaming allows you to start the content almost immediately, buffering and loading as you watch. The content also isn’t saved to your personal device after you finish watching, meaning you won’t clog up your hard drive with old movies and tv shows.

Streaming can be tricky idea to wrap your head around at first, but trust us, the hardest part is the set up – once you’re ready to go, streaming content is a breeze! Follow this list below for everything you need to do before you can kick back, relax and stream.

  • Ensure you have a stable internet connection – This is kind of a given if you want to be comfortably streaming movies and television without skips, a reduction in definition quality or buffering. A minimum of three megabits per second (Mbps) download speed is required to watch a single video stream in clear quality. However, for the best connection on high definition, it’s recommended that your speed is at five Mbps.
  • Locate a streaming device – Also a necessity for streaming is something that will actually allow you to watch streaming services. Choosing a streaming device and setting it up is by far the most difficult stage, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to preference and convenience. For example, if you have a perfectly working television and don’t wish to purchase a new smart TV, a streaming box is the way to go. However, if you’re due for an upgrade, a smart TV is the ultimate convenience to keep all of your viewing in one spot. However, if you’re not keen on potentially spending thousands on a new TV, you can also stream via other devices, such as gaming consoles and media adapters such as Chromecast.
  • Download your apps of choice – Once you have your streaming device of choice (and it is plugged in and turned on), you need to locate the app store. The process may vary slightly from devices, but it will be easy to locate – either on your homepage or a button on a remote. This app store will allow you to choose the platforms you wish to access, such as Stan, Netflix, Foxtel, 10Play, etc. Keep in mind, you may need to set up a username and password via the app store in order to download them.
  • Open, and enjoy! – Ahh, finally the good stuff. Once downloaded, your platforms are almost good to go. Simply set up an account (if you haven’t already done so), sign in and enjoy what streaming has to offer.

These services all require some form of payment, usually billed to your account on a monthly basis. You’ll generally have a choice on what type of plan you sign up to, with some offering additional perks, and may even be available through your phone or internet providers.

  • Netflix: One of the most well-known services, Netflix is home to thousands of movies and television shows, new releases and classics, along with Netflix Original content such as Stranger Things and Orange is the New Black. Multiple subscription tiers are available for purchase, allowing multiple people to have an account and an enjoy a movie or two.
  • Stan: Netflix’s primary competitor, Stan produces a large amount of original Australian content, but is also home to plenty of American content. Similar to Netflix, Stan also has multiple subscriptions to choose from.
  • Disney+: Disney+ is Disney’s own streaming platform, offering a huge range of content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic. There is one subscription, which can be paid monthly or prepaid for a year.
  • Hayu: If you’re a reality TV buff or are simply looking for a cheaper streaming option, Hayu is for you. The platform provides a wide-variety reality shows, including Australian and US shows, and is available for a monthly subscription.
  • Amazon Prime Video: Of course, it’s no surprise that Amazon has ventured into streaming. This U.S. platform features some great American television shows, along with an increasing number of originals.
  • Kayo: If sports are your thing, then Kayo might be perfect. The platform offers 50 sports from around the world, including the NBA, MLB and NFL with live streams and replays available.
  • BINGE: BINGE is Foxtel’s on-demand TV and film platform, offering new-release movies and premium dramas, comedies, documentaries, lifestyle shows and more. Multiple pricing tiers and subscriptions are available.
  • Apple TV+: Apple’s foray into the streaming world, Apple TV+ offers a number of exclusives and Originals for you to enjoy, with one streaming subscription plan available to purchase.
  • YouTube Premium: YouTube has always been a massively popular platform for entertainment viewing, and now are offering a premium version – which features no advertisements, the ability to download and watch offline, and exclusive content from YouTubers.
  • Paramount+: One of the latest entrants to the Australian streaming market, Paramount+ features the libraries of Paramount Pictures, Showtime, Nickelodeon and a range of other channels and studios. Paramount+ also includes Channel 10’s library of shows and movies, with the service also home to the A-League and W-League seasons.

See Canstar Blue’s Pay TV Comparison to find out which services are rated best by Australians.

If you’re a fan of the traditional TV channels but can’t seem to get to the couch in time for your favourite shows, you can sign up to the free-to-air on-demand service. These services are all free to enjoy and feature replays of their respective channel’s programs.

  • ABC iView – A great on-demand option for viewers to catch up on all their favourite ABC shows from channels such as ABC News through to ABC Comedy and ABC Kids. Sign up is available through the iView website.
  • SBS on Demand – Just like iView, SBS on Demand is perfect for those who love their SBS shows but have missed episodes on free-to-air TV. You will get asked to create a profile before watching – but afterwards all streaming is free.
  • 10Play – Channel 10’s on-demand equivalent is great if you’re running late and happen to miss one of the classics such as The Bachelor and Survivor. Be careful to check on the expiry date though, as some shows won’t hang around forever!
  • 9Now – Home to Channel 9’s catch ups, 9Now is the place to go for replays of The Block and Married at First Sight. It also features full seasons of Dance Moms, ER, My Strange Addiction and Love Island.
  • 7plus – Run by the 7 network, this service offers catch ups for channel 7 as well as 7TWO, 7mate, 7flix, 7food and Racing.com. That should keep you busy for a while!

Key Dates in Australian Streaming:

  • July 2008: ABC iView becomes Australia’s first internet television service to launch.
  • May 2010: Fetch TV launches set-top boxes featuring limited on-demand television streaming.
  • September 2011: SBS On Demand launches.
  • October 2011: Quickflix launches streaming service.
  • September 2013: Channel 10 launches Tenplay.
  • March 2014: Presto, a joint initiative from Foxtel and Seven West Media, launches.
  • January 2015: Stan, a joint venture between Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media, launches.
  • February 2015: Fetch TV announces it will become the first Australian pay-TV provider to integrate with Netflix once arrived.
  • March 2015: Netflix launches in Australia.
  • October 2015: YouTube Red launches.
  • March 2016: Hayu launches in Australia.
  • April 2016: Quickflix goes into voluntary administration.
  • October 2016: US media entrepreneur Erik Pence purchases Quickflix.
  • November 2016: Nine replaces 9Jumpin with on-demand and live streaming 9Now.
  • January 2017: Presto ceases operations after Foxtel buys out Seven West Media, with Presto users invited to use Foxtel Now instead.
  • June 2017: Foxtel Now launches.
  • November 2017: 7Plus launches.
  • June 2018: Amazon Prime Video launches in Australia.
  • June 2018: YouTube Red is re-launched as YouTube Premium.
  • November 2018: Kayo Sports launches.
  • November 2019: Disney+ and Apple TV+ launch in Australia.
  • May 2020: BINGE launches in Australia.
  • August 2021: Paramount+ comes to Australia.

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