Most people have moved to streaming services to enjoy both domestic and foreign content.
Thanks to local streaming services (Foxtel Now and Stan) as well as international ones like Netflix, HBO Now and Disney+, you now don’t have to worry about missing a moment of your favourite TV shows/movies.
But with so many on-demand streaming services, one can easily get lost choosing the best service to sign up for.
Each of the platforms available in Australia has varying content, pricing, pros, and cons. We’ve taken time to compare two of the most popular and best streaming services – Netflix and Stan. Here’s everything you need to know:
Netflix Australia Overview
With over 180 million paid subscribers, Netflix is not only the most popular streaming platform but also one of the best today. Netflix subscribers get access to a wide range of movies and TV shows that include originals and those licensed from outside third-parties.
Netflix distributes this content to its subscribers worldwide based on their location (country) and the content rights in place. Subscribers in stateside get access to the Netflix US library. Those in Canada get the Netflix Canada library. In Australia, we have Netflix Australia which debuted in 2015.
While this system works, it comes with a few downsides. For instance, if you reside in the UK, you can’t access the US library unless you use unconventional methods. Also, the titles in one library aren’t always available in a different library. Countries such as the US and UK have bigger catalogs than Australia which makes it seem like Aussie subscribers get shortchanged.
Stan Australia Overview
Local streaming service Stan has been around since 2015. It actually launched two months ahead of Netflix. With a wide range of content offerings, it is arguably the best local streaming platform. Stan offers some originals as well as other titles obtained from partnership deals with companies such as Disney, Showtime, and Hulu.
Netflix vs Stan
It is no secret that rivalry breeds success.
Past events, for instance, the space race that led to humankind exploring the moon all support this adage. In Australia, the biggest players when it comes to streaming are Stan and Netflix. The two have established themselves as dominant streaming service providers to Australians.
Netflix leads in terms of subscribers but don’t let that mislead you into thinking Stan isn’t doing well. Stan has steadily grown to become Netflix’s biggest rival. This competition has proved to be healthy as both platforms have put more effort and resources into making their services and content better. But with the demand for both increasing, which is better than the other?
Just like with any other comparison, we’ll consider several factors to determine which one comes out at the top. Some of the elements we’ll compare include their libraries, pricing & plans, quality, extra features, and compatibility. Read on to find out which platform will give you the best bang for your buck.
The question, “Which platform between Netflix and Stan has the best library” has always been met with a mixed response. There’s no clear cut answer here as it is all subjective. Both platforms have generous libraries with TV shows, documentaries, movies, and even reality programs.
As of the beginning of 2020, the Netflix Australian catalog had over 5,000 titles i.e. 3600+ movies and 1800+ TV shows. Stan, on the other hand, had about 2200 titles with 1700+ of them being movies and the rest TV shows. Netflix easily comes out as the winner but unfortunately, it isn’t only about the breadth of content.
Your viewing preference will dictate which is better for you. Consider this. Of the mammoth Netflix library, only 10% of the titles suit you whereas 30% of Stan titles interest you. From this perspective, Stan is a better platform than Netflix. This a much better metric of determining which platform is better since it focuses on what you’re actually into.
Netflix outshines Stan in original programs but that’s expected seeing as the former is an international giant in entertainment. Some of Netflix’s originals include The Witcher, Stranger Things, and Ozarks. You also get licensed content such as The Originals. In the recent past, Netflix has lost some of the licenses owing to new players joining the field.
Stan has had successes in both original and licensed content as well. It doesn’t pack many original programs but you’ll agree the quality of those few available is top-notch. Some of the originals from Stan include Bloom, Rake, and No activity. You can also enjoy other licensed shows such as Community, Billions, and Power.
In the past few years, Stan has snapped up the rights to several old and classic hit shows such as Friends, Veronica Mar, The Office, Scrubs, and Parks & Recreation. If you’re into such content, you know the way to go.
Compatibility: Streaming Devices and Apps
Both Stan and Netflix are compatible with a wide range of devices including gaming consoles, smart TVs, PCs, phones, and tablets. Netflix has apps for Windows, Android, and iOS users where you can download your favourite titles and watch them later.
Stan, too, has apps for some smart TVs, Apple TV, gaming consoles, Telstra TV and Fetch TV. It is worth mentioning that Apple AirPlay and Chromecast are compatible with mobile applications from Stan.
Both providers offer SD, HD, and Ultra HD streaming depending on the plan you subscribe to. The minimum internet connection speed for streaming Stan content is 2Mbps. The platform recommends a 3Mbps connection for a buffer-free experience in Standard definition (SD). Netflix typically adjusts the streaming quality depending on your connection. For both, internet connection demands increase as you increase the streaming quality.
Here is a breakdown of the internet connection recommendations per stream for playing Netflix and Stan.
|Picture Quality||Netflix’s recommended speeds||Stan’s recommended speed|
|Good||1.5 Mbps||2.0 Mbps|
|Standard Definition (SD)||3.0 Mbps||3.0 Mbps|
|High Definition (HD)||5.0 Mbps||4.5Mbps to 7.5Mbps|
|Ultra High Definition ( UHD 4K)||25Mbps||15.0Mbps|
Pricing and Plans
Netflix offers 3 different plans i.e. Basic ($9.99/month), Standard ($13.99/month), and Premium ($19.99/month). The basic plan only allows for 1 screen whereas the Standard allows 2 simultaneous screens. The Premium plan supports up to 4 simultaneous screens. 4K + HDR is only available in the Premium plan.
Stan offers 3 plans as well i.e. Stan Basic ($10/month), Stan Standard ($14/month), and Stan Premium ($17/month). The basic plan supports only 1 stream. The Standard plan allows for a maximum of 3 screens whereas the Premium plan supports 4 screens. Only the high-end Premium plan has 4K Ultra HD.
Free Trials & Signing up
The sign-up process for both Netflix and Stan is straightforward and doesn’t take long. Netflix used to offer a 30-day free trial but it was scrapped off at the beginning of 2020. New Netflix subscribers will no longer get a trial period when they sign up for Netflix. Stan has a 30-day free trial period that starts immediately when you sign up for its service.
Netflix accepts payment through credit/debit cards, prepaid cards, Netflix Gift Cards, and PayPal. The platform used to support iTunes as a payment method but currently, it no longer accepts the same for new subscribers. Stan, on the other hand, accepts all debit/credit cards, PayPal and Stan Gift Cards. You can also use iTunes to pay for your subscription.
Both platforms have a simple and user-friendly interface. Stan allows you to easily find titles and gives you an option to add your favourite titles to a ‘Watch Later’ list. In addition, it gives you short descriptions and viewing times. The platform also suggests titles you might like based on what you have watched.
Netflix too has a personalized interface that allows you to rate titles you’ve watched. It generates viewing options based on your feedback. You can add titles for later viewing just like with Stan.
Through partnerships with third-party movie companies & distributors such as DreamWorks, Netflix offers kid-tailored content to its subscribers. It also has a separate kid’s section where the younger audience can access age-appropriate titles.
Stan, on the other hand, has a deal with Viacom that gives the platform the license to stream Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. shows. Here you can find shows such as iCarly and Henry Danger that are specifically tailored for the younger audience. Just like Netflix, Stan also has a dedicated kid’s section full of age-appropriate content for the little ones.
There is no right or wrong choice between these two services. Both are solid and compelling streaming platforms.
As we’ve seen, both have excellent content and just because you prefer one, doesn’t mean the other is inferior. Your choice here depends on several factors such as content preference as well as individual/family needs.