After weeks of rumours, Australia now has a brand-new streaming service – and it’s called BINGE.
As we previously reported, ‘BINGE’ had been the working title for Foxtel’s new streaming service, but now it’s confirmed to be the official name. It’s not a surprising move for the pay TV giant, considering ‘Binge’ was the name of a Foxtel channel which was removed late 2019.
Officially launched on Monday 25 May, 2020, you can now sign up to Foxtel’s new on-demand streaming service, BINGE. With its tagline of ‘Unturnoffable’, BINGE is aiming to be the Australian home of premium drama, with much of it previously exclusive to Foxtel’s pay TV channels – where the content is so captivating, you won’t want to turn it off. That’s the idea anyway!
So, what can you expect from Australia’s newest addition to an increasingly crowded streaming market? Let’s take a look at the details, plans, prices and what you can expect to watch on BINGE.
What is BINGE?
When Foxtel launched its on-demand sports streaming product, Kayo, it started a journey of evolution for the pay TV company. Over the years, more and more Aussies have turned to streaming services for entertainment over pay TV and traditional free-to-air TV, and with that some brands, including Foxtel, have simply struggled to keep up.
Kayo was really a big step for Foxtel — a more affordable option for sports enthusiasts than signing up for Foxtel or Foxtel Now’s sports package. Now it’s looking like BINGE will do for Foxtel’s entertainment library what Kayo did for its sports.
BINGE is a new streaming-video-on-demand (SVOD) service that will be home to much of the Foxtel catalogue, including a wide-range of HBO content not seen on a streaming service in Australia before (beyond Foxtel Now). Not only will BINGE host many of the premium drama shows which had long been Foxtel exclusives, but the extensive Foxtel group content library, including comedy classics, a string of documentaries and a huge range of movies.
Besides HBO, BINGE’s content partners include WarnerMedia, BBC, Sony, NBCUniversal, Discovery, and Paramount, and the service will offer over 10,000 hours of ad-free, on-demand movies and TV at launch.
How much will BINGE cost and what do subscriptions include?
BINGE will operate like Netflix and Stan, with a three-tiered subscription model. For $10 per month, you’ll be able to stream Standard Definition (SD) on one screen. Going up to $14 a month will allow two simultaneous streams in High Definition (HD), while its top tier will allow up to four simultaneous streams in HD for $18 per month.
Access to 4K video streaming is notably absent, and while this might be disappointing for some (especially considering other streaming services offer Ultra-HD streaming), unless you have a compatible device its absence is likely to go unnoticed by most Aussies.
Sign-up reportedly takes only three minutes, then you can start streaming straight away. New customers will also receive a 14-day free trial on sign-up. If you’re not sure which plan is best for you, we’ve created a quick at-a-glance comparison table below.
|Basic Plan||Standard Plan||Premium Plan|
|Ultra HD available|
|No. of screens you can watch on at the same time||1||2||4|
|Two week free trial|
How can I watch BINGE?
Like Netflix, Stan and most other streaming services, BINGE operates on your device, laptop or TV, and caters to the whole family. You’ll also be able to add up to six profiles to one account (although this may increase in the future), so everyone in your house can curate their own ‘binge’ list.
You’ll be able to stream on a web browser, tablet, phone, Telstra TV, Apple TV and select smart TVs; however, Sony and Samsung will be the first to include integrated apps, while apps on other popular TV brands will gradually roll out. If you rely on a gaming console to access your streaming apps, you might need to wait a while — an app on PlayStation consoles is in development, but there are no set plans to roll out to Xbox at this moment.
BINGE utilises a similar technology platform to Kayo – so if you loved the user experience there, you’ll likely find the same features and ease-of-use when streaming on BINGE. Standout features include ‘BINGE Centres’ (which bring together collections of shows, movies and franchises, including behind-the-scenes and making-of footage), and a curated Discover carousel to help you find content by mood, theme, Top 5 lists, and more.
While this might all sound very same-same, there is one cool feature that will set BINGE apart from its competitors — the ‘Surprise Me’ feature. If you’ve ever felt spoiled for choice and suffered from overchoice — struggling to choose what to watch on a streaming service simply because there is just too much to choose from — this ‘Surprise Me’ feature could solve that problem.
It’s kind of like channel surfing, but with on-demand content. That means, a show or movie will start playing and if you’re not hooked, simply switch over to another ‘surprise’. This feature is not set to be available on all platforms at launch, but no doubt it will be a very popular option for BINGE watchers who don’t want to waste time scrolling through titles and genres.
What can you watch on BINGE?
As previously reported here at Canstar Blue, Foxtel had recently reached a deal with Warner Media, meaning many of its assets, including HBO, would be available through Foxtel. While Foxtel has had HBO in its library for a couple of decades, it’s still a huge boost for BINGE.
This means you’ll have instant access to some of the world’s most popular premium drama, including many of IMDB’s top-rated shows, great comedies and crime dramas. Plus, you’ll have complete collections of many of these shows, so you can binge-watch from start to finish.
Here is a list of some shows you can expect to binge on, on BINGE:
- The Wire
- The Sopranos
- Sex and the City
- Big Little Lies
- Game of Thrones
- American Horror Story
- Mrs America (miniseries)
- True Blood
- 30 Rock
- The Nanny
As for movies, you’ll have plenty of choice for all moods — whether it’s a rom-com, family flick, or something spooky. Plus, in line with the whole idea of binge-watching, there will be some great movie collections from some of the most popular franchises, including the Jason Bourne collection, Jurassic Park collection and Back to the Future trilogy. Not only will you be able to select movies based on the genre, but there will also be an emphasis on films from some of the greatest movie makers, actors and cinema’s greatest classics, including The Shawshank Redemption, Good Will Hunting, Psycho, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Saving Private Ryan and more.
In addition to a huge catalogue of shows and movies, there will also be plenty of documentaries, including a huge collection of some of the best nature documentaries from Sir David Attenborough, as well as lifestyle and reality TV. Plus, there will even be some channels available to stream more like traditional TV, in addition to this programming being available on-demand.
What will happen to Foxtel Now?
At this point, Foxtel Now is still an integral part of Foxtel’s overall strategy and there aren’t plans to remove it. However, depending on how BINGE is received by viewers, it’s possible that, down the track, Foxtel Now may start to struggle as more Foxtel customers switch to its more affordable alternative, BINGE.
Family-friendly streaming with Disney+
Since the Disney+ launch in Australia, much of Disney’s assets, including Disney animated classics, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars, was removed from Foxtel’s library. If you’re missing your favourite shows and movies from Disney, Marvel, Star Wars and more, you might want to sign up to Disney+.
There are two plan options to choose from – a monthly subscription at just $8.99 per month, or prepay for a whole year at $89.99 and save on the monthly cost. Both plans include the same features, with unlimited downloads and the ability to stream on up to four screens at the same time. This table includes links to a referral partner.
|Brand||Subscription Type||No. of Screens/same time viewing||Advertised Cost^^/month or year|
min. cost $8.99 over one month
||Get DealCanstar Blue receives a commission for sign-ups through Disney+ *|
min. cost $89.99 over one year
||Get DealCanstar Blue receives a commission for sign-ups through Disney+ *|
|^^View important information|