Never before have we had so much choice over what to watch on any given day. From Netflix, to Stan and good old Foxtel, Aussies are now spoilt for television choice. And now there is another subscription video on demand service competing for our very eyes. It’s called ‘OzFlix’ and has a focus on local content – dedicated to Aussie films for Aussie dollars. So how does it stack up? Is OzFlix worth the money?
What does OzFlix offer?
OzFlix deals exclusively in Australian films. There are over 2000 Aussie films in existence, and OzFlix says it is committed to making each and every one of them available. That is a work in progress however, as not all films will be available straight away. For example, the 1906 film ‘The Story of the Kelly Gang’ is going to be much harder to convert and host on the service, considering most of the film has been lost and much of what exists is in pieces scattered among different organisations around the world.
It will be interesting to see how OzFlix deals with ancient relics like this, and whether it will contribute to restoration projects. Beyond that, we suspect several recent films and more modern classics will be available straight away. Think of films like Mad Max, Crocodile Dundee and so on to all be available pretty soon.
What’s more is that OzFlix is committed to keeping Aussie films alive and buoyant in the digital era. “Unlike other services, they will stay on OzFlix and never be deleted,” its website says.
What does OzFlix cost?
It will cost $6.79 to stream a new release film and $3.79 for any other film. In a way, this is not a subscription service at all, but rather it’s a little like iTunes/Apple TV where you buy movies at will.
For a new release, this is promising. Given the way movie cinemas are going these days (read: $20 movie tickets) it represents a cheap way to see the latest films. What’s more is that part of the proceeds will be directed back into supporting Australian cinema. 50 per cent of each rental fee will be paid to local distributors and directors, which could help support a currently struggling industry.
When is OzFlix available?
OzFlix is set to be released in full on 26 January 2017 – Australia Day. However, we envision content will be quite limited to start with.
What else is on offer?
As of now there is little information about what else – if anything – is going to be on offer. However, OzFlix has also promised to show some free content. Among this content includes “FAQ”, a show hosted by various film critics, actors and directors all discuss their favourite Australian films. Given there are only about 2000 Aussie films going around it’ll be interesting to see how far this series can go.
How does OzFlix compare to Netflix and Stan?
OzFlix’s main difference from Netflix and Stan is that with the latter two services you pay a monthly subscription fee regardless of how many TV shows and movies you actually watch, whereas with OzFlix you only pay for what you use.
- So no matter if you watch any films or not with Netflix or Stan, you pay between about $8 and $15 a month for the service
- With OzFlix you pay between $3.79 and $6.79 for individual films
In this way, OzFlix represents a nice supplement to these two other services, rather than compete directly with them.
As far as Aussie content goes, Stan right now seems to be king, but only really for TV shows. As Stan is owned by StreamCo – a joint venture between Channel Nine and Fairfax – expect a healthy smattering of Aussie content.
- The full series of Underbelly and House Husbands are available on Stan for example
- As far as films go, Stan has a revolving list of movies and you can bet any Aussie movie won’t stay on the list forever. It does have Crocodile Dundee, though
Expect the more iconic Australian movies to get first dibs on being featured.
Netflix also fares better for TV shows:
- Expect Chris Lilley shows Summer Heights High and the like to be on there, as well as the Jack Irish series
As for films, we envision that one day OzFlix will trump both Netflix and Stan for Aussie content. Though, in the meantime both services offer some Australian content, mainly thriving in the TV segment. The bonus with OzFlix is that it’s not a subscription service, so you’re not paying for something you don’t use. In this case, if there’s a film on OzFlix that isn’t on Netflix or Stan, don’t feel like you have to miss out – simply rent the film and grab the popcorn.
Is OzFlix worth it?
OzFlix seems to be a nice supplement to Netflix and Stan. While it’s not yet enough to totally replace either pay TV service, its no-commitment prices between $3.79 and $6.79 make it accessible for many. However, costs can quickly add up if you’re on an Aussie movie binge.
- If you watch one film a day, and considering there are over 2000 Australian films, it’ll take about 5.5 years to plough through them all
- The minimum cost to watch every film would be $7,580
If you’re set on watching every Australian film then evidently costs can add up, but it’s undoubtedly cheaper than the cinema. It’s also worth seeing if the film you want is on Netflix or Stan. If you already have the service then you could save up to about $7 – more money for popcorn! OzFlix is an interesting new service in the streaming world, but it’s not exactly a Netflix or Stan killer; right now it exists as a nice supplement to these two and is a cost-effective stop-gap to going to the cinema.