Compare Pay TV in Australia: TV and Movie Streaming Services
Streaming services are among the most popular way to watch TV and movies these days. They’re easy to use, easy to manage, and can be streamed anywhere on almost any device with an internet connection. With so many choices out there, figuring out the best streaming service for you, without paying too much, can be a challenge. For more information about pay TV, subscription services, and streaming platforms, keep reading below.
What pay TV streaming services are available in Australia?
Gone are the days of having little choice in what to watch on TV, waiting a whole week for the next episode of your favorite show, and hours and hours of advertisements. In 2021, streaming services are on top.
While streaming videos on demand has been available to Australians since the mid-90’s, with now-defunct Galaxy being the first streaming service in the country, it’s only been in the last 10 years or so that on demand streaming services have really taken off. But since then, everything from the biggest players like Netflix, to niche services like horror and sci-fi streaming service Shudder, have entered the Australian market. With so many to choose from, it can be hard to decide which service is the most cost effective, while still giving you what you want. Below, you can find a comparison of the top pay TV streaming services in Australia, to keep you free from boredom no matter what you want to watch tonight.
|Streaming service||Minimum cost for basic service or plan|
|Amazon Prime Video||$2.99USD / month first 6 months
$6.99USD / month after
|Apple TV+||$7.99 / month
Free year with purchase of eligible Apple product
|Binge||$10 / month|
|Disney+||$8.99 / month
$89.99 / year
|Fetch TV||Prices vary - Only available through broadband providers or partnered retailers|
|Foxtel||$49 / month|
|hayU.||$6.99 / month|
|Netflix||$10 / month|
|QuickFlix||$3.99 / movie rental
$20 / month for streaming service
|Shudder||$6.99 / month|
|Stan||$10 / month|
|Telstra TV Box Office||$5-7 / movie rental
$15-25 / movie purchase
$2-3 / TV episode
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video (or just “Prime Video”) is the US-based video streaming service from global company Amazon. First released in 2016, it has since acquired the rights to many of the biggest TV shows on the market, as well as released original titles. It’s important to note that while the service is US-based (meaning you pay in US dollars), some content such as HBO is geo-blocked.
Amazon Prime Video, like other streaming services such as Netflix, can be watched on almost any internet-enabled device, such as smart TVs, Amazon Devices, video game consoles, and set-top boxes like Fetch. Prime Video is included in an Amazon Prime Membership, for $6.99 / month. You can sign up for a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime, which includes Prime Video, directly online at amazon.com.
Some of the pros of Amazon Prime Video include:
- Lower cost than other streaming platforms at $6.99 / month
- Original content such as Top Gear spinoff The Grand Tour
- Amazon Prime included with Prime Video which includes additional benefits such as free shipping on Amazon orders, and subscriptions to Prime Reading, Twitch Prime, and Prime Music
Apple TV+ is a bit different from other streaming services available in Australia, focusing on original content from the minds and writers behind today’s biggest shows; such as It’s Always Sunny in Philidalphea’s Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day, and Bob’s Burgers’ Loren Bouchard.
If you’re looking for something new that you haven’t already seen on any other streaming service, Apple TV+ is available starting with a 7-day free trial, and then $7.99 / month. In addition, the purchase of an eligible Apple product can get you a year of Apple TV+ for free for your family. Apple TV+ is available through the Apple TV app, and online through your computer. Certain smart TVs, Amazon Fire Stick, and other third-party platforms can also stream Apple TV+.
Pros of Apple TV+
- One subscription can be shared with up to six family members
- New and original content that can’t be streamed on other platforms
- Free for a year with the purchase of eligible devices
Binge is Foxtel’s answer to other big-name streaming services like Netflix and Stan, focusing on entertainment from the biggest names like HBO, BBC, and Warner Bros, and includes popular tv shows Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Parks and Recreation.
Binge has three subscription options, starting at $10 / month for standard definition on one device, up to $18 / month for HD streaming across four devices. The good news is that Binge is compatible with many different devices, including certain smart TVs, online with your computer, smartphones & tablets, and other devices.
|Price per month||Resolution||Simultaneous streaming|
|Basic||$10 / month||SD||1|
|Standard||$14 / month||HD||2|
|Premium||$18 / month||HD||4|
Are you feeling nostalgic? Do you now have your own kids, and want to show them the magic of Disney classics? Luckily, you now can. Disney+ is one of the newest streaming services, which hit Australia in late 2019. Not only does Disney+ unlock the entire Disney classics library, but also has available content from many other content producers. This includes Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and even Star entertainment (for more mature audiences).
Disney+ is available for $11.99 / month, or prepay $119.99 / year and save 16.6%, and can be streamed across many different devices including smartphones and smart TVs, on the computer and with devices such as Roku or Chromecast.
- Extensive library which includes Disney classics, Pixar movies, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic Fox, and Star
- Created with families in mind
- Includes 7 profiles, and can stream across 4 devices simultaneously
If you want to watch a movie made by Disney, or one of their partners, it’s probably available on Disney. This includes movies and TV shows like Marvel’s WandaVision, the live-action remake of Lady and the Tramp, princess classics from Snow White to Moana, all the Star Wars franchise (old and new), and more.
Fetch TV is a little different from other streaming services, offering an all-in-one package to stream shows, watch live TV, and connect your other subscription services. With the Fetch set top box, you can stream from Netflix, HayU, and Stan (if you have a subscription), watch live TV, and pay TV services such as ESPN.
There are a few more hidden fees than other streaming services, so here area breakdown of Fetch TV costs:
- Fetch TV set top box - Choose between Fetch Mini ($169 upfront) and Fetch Mighty ($449 upfront), though the real difference is you can record live TV with Fetch Mighty.
- Channel packs: Starting at $6 / month for the Kids pack, Knowledge pack, Vibe pack, and Variety pack; or bundle them all for $20 and get over 35 channels
- Special interest: Whether it’s Optus Sport ($14.99 / month), the Chinese language pack ($9.95 / month) or any other world or interest pack
Many internet providers offer Fetch TV bundled with your internet service, so you don’t need to pay for the Fetch TV set top box outright. However, there is still usually a $59.99 set up fee included
While other streaming services offer just their selection of movies and TV shows, Fetch is working to become your home’s one-stop entertainment hub. You can pick and choose what channel packs you want to watch, include other subscription services like Disney+ or Netflix, get live sports, and watch live TV, personalizing your Fetch subscription exactly how you want it.
Foxtel is one of the most established pay for TV services in Australia. With over 25 years to build up the content they offer, Foxtel usually has some of the newest TV shows and movies first and, for sports fans, they own the rights to broadcast some of the most popular sporting leagues including NRL, AFL, and other matches.
Unfortunately, Foxtel’s huge variety of content is not without a price. Foxtel’s basic package, Foxtel Plus, costs around $45 a month, while their premium package, Platinum Plus will set you back $139 every month but comes with every available channel plus a standard Netflix subscription. And then there is every package in between. This also doesn’t include their set top box equipment fee ($125) and installation ($100) but, these fees are often waived during promotions.
Different subscription levels will get you different bundles of channels, which can include sports channels like ESPN and beIN Sports, entertainment for kids like Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network, and news, world, and lifestyle channels.
HayU is a streaming service with a focus on reality TV, so for those who like to keep up with the Kardashians, or want to join Paris and Nicole in living The Simple Life you can watch all that and more for $6.99 a month with no lock-in contract.
HayU is available to stream on most devices and over the internet, as well as with Chromecast and AppleTV. With Hayu there is only one plan, for $6.99 a month which will get you access to all 30,000 episodes of reality TV available, including shows like Dance Moms, Vanderpump Rules,16 and Pregnant, and more.
Everybody knows Netflix. As the global leader in on-demand streaming of movies, TV shows, and original content, Netflix has grown from its humble beginnings of subscription DVD rental in the US. Popular Netflix shows such as Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, and Black Mirror are available starting at $10.99 a month for one-screen streaming in standard definition, and there is something available for everyone; reality TV, horror movies, steamy period dramas, and endless kids entertainment; just to name a few. Netflix can be streamed directly through the Netflix AU website, or on the Netflix app which can be downloaded on phone, tablet, or most smart TVs and devices.
|Price per month||Resolution||Simultaneous streaming|
|Basic||$10.99 / month||SD||1|
|Premium||$19.99 / month||HD||4|
Quickflix takes us back a bit, to a time when DVD and Blu-Ray disks could be rented out. Quickflix has two subscription services available; Streaming, which is a pay-as-you go service for movies starting at $3.99; or Red Carpet which, for $20 a month, means you can have two DVD or Blu-Ray disks sent to you at any time, which can be returned to rent out two more.
If you’re not afraid of the dark (or like to be scared), Shudder is a new streaming service with a focus on the creepy, crawly, spooky, and scary. For just $6.99 a month, or an annual $69.99 per year, you’ll have access to Shudder’s streaming library of horror, sci-fi- and thrillers, including hits like Let the Right One In and It Follows, as well as cult classics and original series and movies.
Stan, Netflix’s Australian-based direct competitor, has been in the market since about the same time Aussies first got Netflix. As such, they offer many popular hit TV shows that Netflix US is able to show but Netflix AU cannot. Stan has some of the most popular shows such as Friends and Seinfeld available to stream, as well as many of today’s biggest kids shows like Paw Patrol and Ben10.
Stan is available starting at $10 per month for one stream at a time, $14 for three streams, and $17 for four streams. In addition, sports fans can now sign up for Stan Sports which, for an additional $10 a month, gives fans access to live and on-demand sports entertainment.
Telstra TV Box Office
Previously known as BigPond Movies, the recently rebranded Telstra Box Office is a pay-per-view subscription service that offers many popular TV shows and some of the latest movies not far after their release in cinema, from telco provider Telstra.
Technically, the cost of signing up to Telstra Box Office is free, and you don't need to be a Telstra customer, but you pay to buy and rent movies and TV shows. Movies can cost you around $5-7 to rent and between $15 and $25 to buy, while TV shows are available at about $3 per episode or around $20 for a whole season. While renting movies means they’ll expire after a period of time, buying movies and TV shows means they’re yours for good. Telstra Box Office is available to stream through their website, on Telstra TV, through a smart phone or computer, or many of the newer smart TVs available on the market today.
Best sports streaming services
For the sports lovers out there, there are plenty of ways to catch the latest game live. Bigger services such as Foxtel or Fetch offer sports packages as part of their subscription service, while other streaming platforms can get you different leagues, championships, and games...depending on who your team is.
While reality TV buffs have HayU, sports lovers have Kayo. As the budget competitor to Foxtel in the sports entertainment world, Kayo includes most of the same games and leagues as Foxtel on a budget price.
Kayo is available in two plans, priced at $25 and $35 a month, with the only difference being that the cheaper option means you can only have two streams at a time while the $35 package gives you three simultaneous streamings at once, for those who can’t miss a single game.
beIN SPORTS, a popular sports entertainment outlet, can usually be found bundled with Foxtel packages but it can also be purchased separately. The app is free, but you need to pay either monthly ($19.99 / month) or yearly ($179.99 / year) for access to live matches, interviews, and analysis.
beIN SPORTS is the spot for soccer (football), but also includes coverage of international rugby and tabletop tennis. Leagues and championships covered by beIN SPORTS include:
- La Liga
- Scottish Premier Football League
- Copa Sudamericana
- Copa America
- Women’s Tennis Association (WTA)
- Guinness Six Nations
Well known both in and outside of the sports world, ESPN is an Aussie, and global, favorite. Unfortunately, broadcast rights mean you can’t get live ESPN in Australia on its own, and need to sign up for another, bundled, pay TV service such as Fetch TV or Foxtel. However, the app can give you the score, highlights, and other details about the big game.
Unlike the other big-name sports subscription services like Foxtel and Kayo, Optus Sport offers more of a focus on European soccer and is the home to leagues such as English Premier League, Champions League, and Nations League. Optus Sport is available to Optus customers with select broadband and mobile plans, but non-Optus customers can sign up to Optus Sport for $15 a month.
Pay TV: Subscription or streaming?
Pay TV is split into two categories: subscription or streaming. Subscription services are a bit different than streaming on demand. Subscription pay TV usually requires some sort of long-term commitment (a year, for example), special hardware, and installation costs but in exchange you can enjoy both live content, and on-demand movies and shows. The two biggest subscription TV services in Australia are well-known Fetch TV and Foxtel.
On the other hand, streaming services include big-name players such as Netflix, Amazon Video, and Disney+. With streaming services, live content usually isn’t included but you don’t need to pay for hardware, or additional channels or packs. Instead, for a monthly fee, you get access to whatever your streaming service’s library has to offer, usually across many different devices.